Since 8:16 PM ET on April 29, the New Jersey Devils were unofficially on the clock as they won the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in the lottery. The consensus came down to Nico vs. Nolan. This evening, the New Jersey Devils gave us their answer. With the first ever first overall pick in the Devils’ history in this franchise, they chose Nico Hischier, a center from the Halifax Mooseheads.
I am personally happy with this decision. The Nico vs. Nolan decision was the decision for #1 in this year’s draft. We profiled both players; Brian profiled Hischier here. The decision was so close that it led to a tight among ourselves for our SB Nation Mock Draft pick, which was to pick Hischier. It led to a rousing roundtable discussion among us and in the comments. Other mock drafts, in total, leaned towards Patrick although rankings and such were definitely neck-and-neck between the two. Ultimately, I preferred Hischier over Patrick, although I would not have been upset with Patrick being the pick.
Hischier has everything you’d want in a prospective center. He’s an excellent skater, his hands are great, he plays very well on and off the puck, he’s not a small player, and he was a standout throughout this season in both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and in international tournaments. All that and he did not have the injury concerns that Patrick had. To me, Hischier was a top-tier prospect, the Devils could use a prospect like that at any time, and so it would be a straight-forward decision to make him the #1 pick in this year’s draft.
I am equally happy with the decision that Ray Shero and his staff did not do anything with the first overall pick. There were some rumblings about whether the Devils would move the first overall pick or trade down to take defensman Cale Makar (which would have been a massive reach at #1). While the Devils could use help on defense, they could also use help on offense as a bad team really needs help everywhere. Shero did not overthink this situation. He kept the historic selection for New Jersey and used it on a player that can absolutely help out in the short-term and could be a massive building block for the rebuilding effort Shero is leading.
If you want to understand the hype a little more for Hischier, then just check out these videos. The first comes from SB Nation themselves:
Nico Hischier 2017 NHL Draft scouting report | SB Nation NHL D...
Welcome to Jersey, Nico Hischier! Your newest Devil has some dazzling offensive talent.Posted by All About The Jersey on Friday, June 23, 2017
And the second is a highlight video of Hischier showing off the moves, the skills, and the talent that led him to the #1 pick (apologies for the music).
I’m really excited that Nico Hischier was selected by the Devils. And it won’t be long before he comes to Newark. I fully expect him to be in training camp this Fall at a minimum and he could step right into the main roster in 2017-18. His blend of puck control, speed, and his mindset to perform well in both ends of the rink would make it pretty hard to send him back to juniors. I really do think he has a very bright future and I’m looking forward to him growing and developing into a significant player for the New Jersey Devils. He has already made history by being both the first Swiss player to go first overall and the first top pick made by the team in New Jersey. I hope he can make even more history with the Devils in his career.
I am really happy with the pick. What do you think about Hischier? Do you like the selection? Do you think he’ll join the New Jersey Devils in 2017-18? Please vote in our poll and leave your answers in the comments. Thank you for reading.
The Devils drafted Nico Hischier first overall! What do you think about the pick?
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