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Paul Fischer: 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile; A potential mid-draft defensive gem from the USA NTDP

Paul Fischer lacks some of the offensive flash of the higher ranked defensive prospects, but is strong on the backend and could be a mid-late round steal in the draft.


Paul Fischer was born January 30, 2005 in River Forest, Illinois. A left-handed 6’1, 195 pound defenseman according to The Hockey Writers, (Elite Prospects has Fischer listed as 6’0, 183 pounds), Fischer’s career started with the Chicago Mission in the HPHL, where he was a point per game player before joining the USA NTDP team in 2021-22. Fischer’s offense never really “popped” in the USA program, topping out at 21 points in 56 games this past season. Fischer is committed to the University of Notre Dame next year.


Per TheHockeyWriters draft prospect profile on Paul Fischer:

All of these rankings put Fischer either outside the 2nd round or likely outside (in the case of the rankings that do not include European skaters or goalies). If the Devils wanted to draft Paul Fischer, they would likely be looking at using the 3rd round pick they recouped in the Damon Severson trade, or a later pick, if he falls a bit from where he is ranked.


Jim Bay of the Hockey Writers:

He is tough in his own end and has no problem using his body to block shots and pin attackers along the boards. He will also no doubt add some weight and muscle to his frame as he matures, which will further help him develop into a player that NHL teams can count on.

David Ciss of Sports Illustrated:

Fischer is a strong and mobile defenceman with offensive upside. His skating abilities are a major aspect of his game and he has the potential to become an elite skater at the next level. Fischer can walk the blue line perfectly with his great edges and power.

Both Jim Bay and David Ciss also noted Fischer’s strong and accurate wrist shot as a positive aspect of his game.

Gabriel Foley of Recruit Scouting was a little less excited about Fischer’s prospects.

If there was a textbook of player styles, Fischer would be the shining example of a sturdy, defense-minded blue-liner. He moves the puck very well but makes sure to stay at home. Tons of reliability… but where does he go from here?


Dylon Field has this great video of Paul Fischer on Youtube.

In the interview, which is played over Paul Fischer highlights, Fischer says he looks up to Miro Heiskanen as a model for his game.

Although it’s an empty net, this video shows the strength Fischer gets on his back end going rink wide for the goal.


Although Paul Fischer uses a Miro Heiskanen comparison, another player jumps out at me: John Marino. Marino was drafted in the sixth round in 2015, 154th overall. While I do not anticipate Paul Fischer having to wait that long to hear his name called on draft day, I believe Paul Fischer can be a similar player one day in the NHL. Both had similar offensive numbers in their draft year: Marino put up 28 points in 49 games in the USPHL. Fischer had 21 points in 56 games this past season playing a much tougher schedule for the USA NTDP. However, both players have the same bread and butter: strong defensive play. Fischer has the skating and edgework to be able to play that style at higher levels. Overall, I consider Fischer to be a lower risk pick, who is more likely to pan out than many of the other players selected where he is likely to be drafted. If the Devils find him still available when they make their selection in the third round or later, they could do a lot worse than Paul Fischer.

Now it is time to tell us what you think. Do you like Paul Fischer? Tell us what you think in the comments below.