Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will be headliners when the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers play for the first time this season, at Prudential Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
It's the first chance the hockey world has to see the top two picks in the 2019 NHL Draft go head to head in the New York-area rivalry. Except neither Hughes, the No. 1 pick of the Devils, or Kakko sees it that way.
"It was a big deal when those teams got the first and second picks," said Hughes who has no points through six games, all New Jersey losses (0-4-2). "I mean, it doesn't happen often when those picks go to rivalries, rivalry games. I think the media makes a big deal out of it, but for me and him I'm sure it's just about our teams and trying to get a win."
Kakko, who scored his first goal and point in a 4-1 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, echoed that sentiment.