The Wildcats are excited to announce the addition of 6’4”, impact-center, Justin Hughes.
Hughes, standing 6’4”, 170-pounds, is a right-handed center that comes from Montvale, New Jersey. He spent the last two seasons in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) with the Odessa Jackalopes. During this time, he finished with 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 98 games played.
Hughes has several NCAA division 1 discussions and even more at the NCAA division 3 level. Ultimately, it was the University of Arizona that he wanted to call home. Hughes had this to say about his commitment to the Wildcats:
“I chose the University of Arizona because it will challenge me academically and allow me to continue my hockey career at one of the coolest places in the country, said Justin Hughes.”
Hughes is a 200-foot player who can be effective on both sides of the puck. The addition of him really locks down the middle of the ice for the Wildcats, something coach Berman highly values.
“This is a huge get for us,” said coach Berman. “We’d like to build our program through the middle: with goalies, defensemen, and centers on out. We feel it’s important to be strong down the middle and I think he solidifies us in that regard. We can use him in any situation and his reach makes him a pain to play against in corners. If you want to have success in playoffs hockey, you must win those 3 on 3 low battles in your own end. Furthermore, he is another example of the type of players we need to add to our core. When Justin is at his best, his feet are moving, and he is hounding pucks. Had he been healthier this year, I am not sure we are making this announcement. So, we are certainly excited about this news and very eager to see how it all comes together.”
The #11 Arizona Wildcats will hit the ice again in September with a large portion of their core players returning. Stay tuned for further recruiting updates as we gear towards what is shaping up to be a highly anticipated 2023-24 season!