2009-10: Tommy Hughes appeared in seven OHL games with the London Knights while also skating in two junior A games with the London Nationals and playing for the Junior Knights midget AAA team. He had no points and was -1 in his brief OHL experience. Hughes had no points in two games with the Nationals in the GOJHL. He scored 5 goals with 15 assists in 27 games and had 38 penalty minutes with the Junior Knights. In ten playoff games he scored 3 goals with 5 assists and had 12 penalty minutes.
2010-11:Hughes joined the London Knights at the end of November and played 39 OHL games. He had 6 assists and was +9 with 39 penalty minutes. London was fifth in the Midwest Division and took Memorial Cup-bound Owen Sound to six games in a first-round playoff series. Hughes was -1 with no points and 12 penalty minutes in the series with Owen Sound. Hughes played 24 junior A games with the London Nationals and had 2 goals with 11 assists and 54 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Hughes skated in 56 games for London as a 19-year-old in his first full season with the Knights. He scored 2 goals with 8 assists and was +30 with 64 penalty minutes. London finished first in the Midwest Division and reached the Memorial Cup after capturing the OHL playoff title. Hughes scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +9 with 20 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. In four Memorial Cup games he had 1 assist and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Hughes attended the New York Rangers tryout camp but was not signed and returned to London for an over-age season. An assistant captain for the Knights, he scored 1 goal with 15 assists and was +17 with 66 penalty minutes in 67 games. The Knights again finished first in the Midwest Division and earned their second straight trip to the Memorial Cup; overcoming a 3 games to 1 deficit against Barrie in the OHL finals. Hughes scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +8 with 19 penalty minutes in 20 OHL playoff games. He had 1 assist and was -5 with 4 penalty minutes in five Memorial Cup games. Hughes signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Rangers in April 2013.
2013-14: Hughes skated in 72 games for Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford in his first pro season. He scored 2 goals with 7 assists and was -5 with 34 penalty minutes for the Wolfpack. Hartford missed the AHL playoffs, finishing third in the Northeast Division.
2014-15: Hughes played in 42 regular season games for the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack in his second pro season — missing time after suffering a lower body injury in January. He scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was +6 with 27 penalty minutes. Hartford finished first in the Northeast Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals. Hughes’ only goal in the playoffs was an overtime game winner in the decisive fifth game of the first-round series against Providence. He had 2 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.
A defensive defenseman who is very solid with the puck, Hughes is not flashy in any way. He generally gets the job done on the AHL level, but it’s not at all clear that he is fast enough to have real NHL potential.
In the final year of his ELC, Hughes is expected to play the entire season in Hartford. He is not likely to be re-signed by the Rangers to an NHL contract after his contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 season.