2017 NHL Draft prospect profile: Nico Hischier has what it takes to go first overall
The Swiss sniper lit up the QMJHL in his first season in North America
Over the past few seasons the Halifax Mooseheads have become a factory for high-end forwards, with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Nikolaj Ehlers going in the first round of their respective drafts. Nico Hischier will be the latest to join this group, and like MacKinnon, could go first overall.
Hischier’s breakout was at the World Juniors, where he was arguably the story of the tournament, and he followed that up with a terrific finish with the Mooseheads.
Hischier will be battling Nolan Patrick to be the top pick, and it this point it’s hard to say who would be a better fit for the New Jersey Devils, the surprise winner of the draft lottery. The Flyers pick second, and whoever falls in their lap could be looked at as being a long-term replacement for Claude Giroux up the middle.
Hischier is on the small side, and could use another year in the CHL to round out his game before making the jump to pro. If Colorado or Vegas would have won the lottery or earned the second pick, I’d say there’s a good chance Hischier would be in the NHL next year. New Jersey and Philadelphia can be a bit more patient.
Current Team: Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
Date of Birth: January 4, 1999
Place of Birth: Naters, Switzerland
Weight: 179 lbs
2016 / 2017 Statistics
57 GP / 38G / 48A / 86PTS / 24PIM / +20
“The Swiss Connor McDavid”, is a title that some have branded Hischier with. He is the best prospect to ever come out of Switzerland. Early in the year he was ranked by many in the bottom half of the first round. Thanks to a remarkable performance at the U20 World Championships and unmatched production in the QMJHL this season he has sky rocketed up ranking lists and has cemented his position as a top three pick in the draft. He is the most exciting player in the draft to watch. The skills he displays on a nightly basis graded high and it is reasonable to expect his physicality to improve. He has a chance to be one of the few impact players that come out of this draft. There is a slim but not impossible chance he supplants Nolan Patrick as the number one pick. - McKeen’s Hockey
A smooth-skating, playmaking center…good skating agility and top speed, but is more quick than fast…is able to make quick turns and displays good lateral movement…not big or strong, but still shows willingness to take hits and battle for space…goes into board battles and uses his body to fight for pucks…excellent playmaking instincts, vision and passing skills…puts puck where his linemates can best utilize the chance…an incredible stickhandler who thrives in possession and can make defenders look foolish…competitive and driven…poise is a major standout attribute…dangerous when given time, especially on the power play as he takes full control of the play from the half wall with the puck, using his impressive agility, hands and vision to make plays…plays a responsible defensive game…one of the best talents to come out of Switzerland. - Future Considerations