The 20-year-old has established himself as a regular starter for loan club Ross County after Hughes replaced Stuart Kettlewell as the manager of the side in December.
Under Hughes, Ross County look to build from the back and the Rangers loan star plays a key role in making it happen and also pulling the strings from midfield.
Hughes has admitted that helping the Staggies build from the back is a big ask for a youngster playing his first full season in the top flight but pointed out that the player is brave enough to do that.
The Scot went on to heap praise on Kelly’s understanding of football and revealed that the midfielder is not afraid to ask if he is not clear about something as he is aware of the need to understand aspects of the game thoroughly.
Asked whether being at the heart of a team trying to play out from the back is a big ask for a youngster like Kelly, Hughes told The Athletic: “It is, but he’s as brave as a lion and has the courage to get on the ball.“
“He’s my type of player: someone who wants the ball and keeps it ticking over.
“He understands the game.
“He’ll look at you and say, ‘I don’t quite get that’.
“He knows if he grasps and implements it, he’ll be better for it.”
Kelly has made 25 appearances across all competitions for Ross County so far this season.