Okay let me catch my breath.
Okay that’s not happening. Let me try again.
I’ve been trying to write this post since the New Jersey Devils announced that they were selecting C Nico Hischier first overall in the 2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft but it just hasn’t happened because I’m trying to catch my breath in between wiping my tears. I am so sorry. Not really.
Umm wow? The Devils select center Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) with the first overall pick of the 2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft (take a shot every time I say this). Hischier is now the highest drafted Switzerland-born player in NHL draft history.
I had written a week ago about the Nico/Nolan debate and ultimately decided that the Devils would go with Nico but the decision was a tough one. I’ve been flip-flopping since the Devils won the draft lottery but ultimately, no matter who the Devils chose (be it Nolan or Nico), I would have been happy. They’re both phenomenal hockey players and people, and they both have so much to bring to their teams.
With that said, I am ecstatic that New Jersey selected Hischier. Here’s a draft profile that I wrote a few weeks ago on Hischier. I love what he brings to the table for the Devils because they don’t have a player like him.
Hischier has an elite skill set and hockey sense, and he plays an all-around game. He’s a great two-way forward with the ability to score goals and make impossible plays, and he plays a strong defensive game. He plays well in every. single. zone. He sees the ice really, really well and knows where the puck is going before it does. He’s a little on the small side which allows him to get into tight spaces but putting on some muscle this summer definitely wouldn’t hurt. He’s fast and the Devils need speed. He has the ability to become a top-line center and a game-changer.
He’s played just one season with the Mooseheads and the 2016-17 season was his first in North America but he made the adjustment pretty quickly and effectively. He played 57 games with the team and scored 86 points, averaging 1.5 points per game. He had 38 goals and 48 assists, so he can score goals and create them too. He finished with a +20 rating and 24 penalty minutes, and he had seven points in six playoff games.
Only time will tell what type of player he becomes but I’m excited.
Welcome to New Jersey, Nico! We’re happy to have you here!