Although Jack Hughes entered the NHL with plenty of expectation after being selected first overall in last summer’s draft, the actions of Matt Niskanen on Friday night suggested some concern for the youngster.
While Hughes was playing in the 11th game of his professional hockey career, it appeared Niskanen didn’t believe that the 18-year-old had truly been “welcomed” to the league just yet. The Philadelphia Flyers defender changed that midway through the first period of Friday night’s game.
Simply put, the 32-year-old destroyed Hughes behind the Flyers’ net.
Matt Niskanen lays out Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri comes to his defense pic.twitter.com/pSegMcSj0s— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 1, 2019
Kyle Palmieri wasn’t going to let that fly, though.
As Hughes attempted to relocate his helmet and get back to his feet, his 28-year-old teammate stood up for the young phenom. Palmieri grabbed Niskanen and the pair threw a few good punches before heading to their respective penalty boxes.
Hughes left the game as a result of the collision because he was called into concussion protocol, according to Amanda Stein. Thankfully, he was able to return for the second period and played the rest of the game.
With his assist on Wayne Simmond’s first goal of the year a few minutes before getting hammered, Hughes now has two tallies and six points in 11 games.
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