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Photo Credit: QMJHL.com

Wings Nation First Round Targets: Nico Hischier

Hailing from Naters, Switzerland, Nico Hischier has been playing hockey all of his life. He’s played his way up through the Swiss major league, playing a total of 15 games for SC Bern before being drafted into the QMJHL and coming over to play for Halifax. Projected to go 2nd overall at this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Hischier will be the highest drafted Swiss player in NHL history as long as he goes top-5.

He’s a great skater with excellent hockey IQ and quick hands that make him hard to defend against. At 18-years-old, Hischier stands at 6’1” and 174 lbs. He definitely needs to add some muscle to his frame, but that will come. He is going to be a great NHL player.

NHL CS RANKINGS

Projected to go 2nd overall.

THE STATS

(Stats courtesy of EliteProspects)

Hischier played all of last season for the Halifax Moosehead of the QMJHL where he put up a whopping 86 points in 57 games. To those following his career, though, this should come as no surprise. Have a look at the point totals he was putting up in the Visp U15, Visp U17, and Bern U17 leagues. Sure, these kids are young, but he was way ahead. When he started playing in international tournaments against the best of his age group in the world, his stats came back down to earth, but he still performed at over a point-per-game at the under-18 World Junior Championships and the under-20 World Junior Championships. This is how he climbed the rankings to be number two and this is how he will likely end up being a Philadelphia Flyer.

THE EYE TEST

On NHL.com, Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting, says:

“HISCHIER IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION. HE HAS A HIGH SKILL LEVEL, BUT WHAT’S MOST IMPRESSIVE IS THE WAY HE COMPETES, HIS DRIVE AND WORK ETHIC. HE IS A PLAYER WHO IS FIRST ON THE FORECHECK FORCING A TURNOVER AND WHEN THE PLAY TRANSITIONS, HE’S THE FIRST PLAYER BACK. HE’S IN THAT CATEGORY AS A SPECIAL PLAYER.”

DOES HE FIT IN WITH THE RED WINGS?

Of course he does! A bonafide top-line centre is one of the Red Wings’ biggest needs. He could slide right onto the first line between Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar and just make magic happen. That, my friends, is the stuff of dreams and only dreams. There’s no way Hischier falls to the 9th overall spot and the chance of Detroit trading up to one of the top-2 spots is slim to none. Nope – next season, Hischier will either be in a New Jersey Devils or a Philadelphia Flyers jersey and ready to make Jonathan Ericsson look silly.