NHL: Seven observations from first seven Training Camps

The Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Here’s seven observations from the first seven NHL Training Camps.

We are edging ever closer to the start of the 2020-21 NHL season on Jan. 13, 2021, with Training Camps opening across the league.

It was an early start for the seven teams that were not invited to the two Bubble cities for the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs, who opened their Training Camps on New Year’s Eve.

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Camps are opening for the 24 other NHL teams today, although most won’t actually hit the ice until Monday.

So, with that in mind, let’s run through some quick observations we’ve had from the first seven Training Camps of the 2020-21 NHL season with those teams now having been at it for a few days.

Let’s delve right in.

7. Beefing up – New Jersey Devils

We covered it here but there will be added pressure on New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes heading into the 2020-21 season.

After an up-and-down rookie season in which he recorded 21 points (7 G, 14 A) and a plus / minus rating of -26 in 61 regular season games, Hughes will need a bounce back season and the Devils will need a fast start from their No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft given that No. 1 center Nico Hischier is a doubt for the start of the season with a lower-body injury.

Well, so far so good.

Addressing the media at the start of Training Camp, Hughes revealed that he added around14 pounds of muscle during the offseason and, looking at the Devils’ coverage over the last few days, he looks a different player so far.

Hughes looks bigger, stronger and he’s had a strong start to Training Camp, which only bodes well for the season ahead with a true explosive breakout year a real possibility.

And that will be just what the New Jersey Devils and Jack Hughes need.