New Jersey Devils Top-10 prospects under 24

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils. Nico Hischier. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

2. Nico Hischier (20), Center, 2017 1st round (1st overall)

Up until the most recent draft lottery, any talk of the New Jersey Devils future centered around Nico Hischier. 2017’s first overall draft pick has a well-stocked inventory of skills. Two years into his NHL career, he is just now starting to get comfortable as a star player. Believe it or not, one of the things that helped him take the next step in his development was the season-ending injury to Taylor Hall last December.

Suddenly the team’s success on the ice was put on Hischier’s shoulders. While he may not have swam at a world record pace, he certainly didn’t sink. Despite missing a few weeks with an upper-body injury, the Swiss Superman scored 47 points in 69 games. That’s a rate of two-thirds-of-a-point per game. At only 20-years-old, he’s still got more room on his learning curve. It’s not hard to envision him becoming a point per game player in the next year or two.

With a new “next big thing” joining the organization this year, Hischier may never become a 100-point season guy. That’s not his game. As a comparison to some number one overall picks of the last decade, Nico Hischier is more Ryan Nugent-Hopkins than he is Connor McDavid.

While he isn’t the fasted skater in the league, Hischier still has a great set of rockets attached to his blades. He accelerates quickly and can change direction at a snap of the fingers. That makes him hard for would-be defenders to put a body on him.

Possessing a high hockey IQ with equally impressive vision and puck-handling, his passing skills are elite. If defenses play him as a pass-first guy, Hischier has no problems burying the puck in the net with his quick release. He has no problems beating teams either way.