After the New Jersey Devils passed by projected number one (Nolan Patrick), it’s Nico Hischier who will get the chance to prove himself as the proper 2017 First Overall NHL Draft Pick.
It only suited the New Jersey Devils to win the Draft Lottery in a year where it was predicted to be a “light” draft year.
No one was available with the likeness of Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid or Aaron Ekblad (the last three first overall draft picks prior to Hischier). All the derogatory projections aside, Nico Hischier did something of significance to earn himself the top spot. In the eyes of Devils’ general manager Ray Shero, he impressed more than Nolan Patrick, Miro Heiskanen and Cale Makar.
As a smaller sized forward, Hischier is already drawing Pavel Dastyuk comparisons. Datysuk, who brought with him speed and stick handling that only a handful of defenseman and goalies could defend, is quite a player to be compared to. If the Devils had seen those similarities, it would be without question that Hischier was the right choice for the first overall pick.
Hischier began his professional career in Switzerland — his home country — with SC Bern. Playing there at the ripe age of 16, he played only fifteen games and scored once. He was sent down to the minor league affiliates later on in that season. The next year is when the numbers speak for themselves.
Taking his career to Canada, Hischier played for the Halifax Mooseheads, where he had more points than games played, finally showing his worth. Over the course of 57 games, he scored 38 goals, along with 48 assists while only serving 24 minutes in the penalty box.
To further prove his worth as a player most comparable to one of Detroit’s strongest forwards in history, Nico Hischier won the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence. The trophy is given to the player within the draft class that shows strength through excellence in character. If Hischier does indeed prove his worth and remains a clean respectful player on the ice, a few Lady Byng Memorial Trophies might be headed his way.
The truth of the matter is, it’s hard for a first overall draft pick to not be worth something to a team. His stats in the QMJHL as a member of the Halifax Mooseheads are undeniable. He will without question bring greatness to the New Jersey Devils that was not there in the previous season. It is without
It is without doubt that Devils fans look forward to sporting his jersey, and maybe watch him bring a Cup to New Jersey in the future.