The Scottish Premiership strugglers have roped in the 17-year-old on loan for the rest of the season and he hands manager Hughes another option in the battle against the drop.
Hughes believes that Hjelde, 17, will look at the loan spell as being important for his development as a player, but admits that handing the teenager opportunities will be seen as a risk by some.
However, the Ross County boss has challenged Hjelde to thrive on being given the chance to make an impact at Victoria Park.
“Leo is a good young player that will see this spell as a key part of his development”, Hughes told Ross County’s official site.
“I think it is important that in addition to the experience we have, we add young, hungry talent into the side that are eager to go out there and go toe-to-toe with some of the best players in this league.”
“Some people will look at it and say he is young, and he is a risk but sometimes you have to thrive on that, I know Leo will.
“For me, I have always tried to filter in young players in all my teams and this is no different, we will give him the opportunity but he has to show what he can bring when he is given the chance.”
Hjelde played the full 90 minutes in Ross County’s 5-0 thrashing at Ibrox against Rangers on Saturday and picked up a booking in the process.