The 22-year-old striker has a contract at parent club Motherwell which takes him through to the summer of 2015, but he has enjoyed a productive - if not hugely prolific - loan spell at Queen of the South, and on the evidence of Tuesday night he seems to regard delivering the Dumfries outfit to the Scottish top flight for the first time in exactly half a century as the perfect parting gift.
Queens have hitherto been regarded as outsiders in the tortuous process of making it into the top flight via the play-offs but the 2-1 win on Tuesday might just have been when they started to blow their cover. McHugh scored two - the second a stunning last-minute winner - to allow Queens to travel to Falkirk on Saturday with an advantage.
The 22-year-old said last night he does not see any reason why they cannot emerge triumphant from the marathon process and admitted he sees certain similarities between Jim McIntyre's Queen of the South and Stuart McCall's Motherwell.
"The job is only half done - it is only half-time," said McHugh. "But we were desperate to get a wee advantage to take to their place and we're delighted with that. I couldn't have hit my second goal any better, it's probably one of the best I've scored, definitely for the first team.
"You never know how far we can go but hopefully I can keep producing the goals. But even before the goals I've been loving it here, the manager has made me feel welcome and the boys are excellent. I want to do the best for them and do the best for myself as well. And the quality is here.
"It's a good group of boys, a tight group of boys very similar to Motherwell. It's a great dressing room. Hopefully we can get through the play-offs and if the manager can make good additions in the summer they would do well in the Premiership."
There is a danger of Queens getting ahead of themselves, before a tough second leg trip to the Falkirk Stadium where Gary Holt's side have been virtually unbeatable this season.
Blair Alston, whose fine opening goal for Falkirk does not count double even though it was away from home, feels his team will play better on their own artificial surface, whether or not key man Rory Loy is fit. "At times we got sucked into playing the ball long a bit and that's disappointing," said Alston. "It was quite windy and it was hard because we are used to our pitch and not used to this with a bobble on it."