Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's Nico-Devils draft Hischier as top pick

The New Jersey Devils caught a lucky bounce in the NHL draft lottery and with questions all the way up to the actual announcement of the selection about who it would be,Devils fans played the game of Nolan vs Nico for weeks.

In the end,the choice was Nico Hischier from Switzerland,who made history as the first ever top overall pick from that country and as the first ever Devil to be the first pick of the draft,although if you trace the franchise back to Kansas City and Denver as I do (and the Devils rarely do),the Colorado Rockies did use the first overall choice on defenseman Rob Ramage in 1979.

The selection of Nico Hischier made sense to me mainly because Hischier seems to have the potential to be the type of creative scorer that the Devils haven't had in years (Ilya Kovalchuk) and haven't drafted in even longer (Zach Parise).
Hischier's skating and puck carrying is reported to be his strengths and his upside is reported to be as a first line center,although he could play left wing in the future as well.
Hischier is also not a defensive liability as many scorers are as he is supposed to be pretty solid in getting back into his own end of the ice.

Hischier was my choice and the Devils over Nolan Patrick for two reasons-Hischier has a much better chance of being an offensive,number one center than Patrick,who projects to be a nice player,but not the type of player that you can build around and the injuries to Patrick throughout his junior career makes you wonder a bit about the health of Patrick.
Nagging injuries when you are young tend to happen more and more as you age and that was a concern of mine with Patrick.
It'll be interesting to contrast the career of Nico Hischier with that of Nolan Patrick,who was picked by the rival Philadelphia Flyers with the second pick and it'll also say a lot for general manager Ray Shero down the road for if Patrick turns out to be the better player and does so for the rival Flyers,it'll won't reflect well on Shero.

I'm excited about this pick.
Nico Hischier isn't the type of franchise lifter that the last two drafts provided in Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews,but he certainly might be a top caliber player and an exciting player to watch as the Devils continue to try to rebuild.
The Devils might not be very good next season,but assuming that Hischier makes the team,which I think he will,along with 2016 number one pick Michael McLeod and the young players that were on last years team that they might be more fun to watch,if not improved in the standings....

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