Nico Hischier (18) was drafted 1st in the NHL draft in Chicago by the New Jersey Devils. Never had a Swiss known such honor. « I can’t believe it, dropped the hero of the evening. My biggest goal is to play in the NHL. Frankly, I can’t express the feeling I’m feeling right now. «
The Haut-Valaisan won his duel from a distance with Nolan Patrick, the other player likely to interest the two first teams to choose. Author of 86 points (37 goals / 49 assists) in 57 games with the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Hischier has « forged his success » by his rise in power and undoubtedly the quality of his defensive game.
If Hischier and Patrick have the « complete package » of what is expected of a modern center, the Valaisan has boosted his CV by succeeding in thundering U20 Worlds and seeming less fragile than his opponent. Patrick experienced 2 hernias which hampered his natural development. That didn’t stop him from being selected 2nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers. The podium is completed by the Finn Niro Heiskanen.
Nico Hischier is not the only Swiss to have been retained by an NHL franchise. Tobias Geisser and Gilles Senn also enjoyed this honor this weekend in Chicago. The Washington Capitals set their sights on Tobias Geisser (18) in the 4th round of this draft, in 120th position. For his part, the Valais porter from Davos Gilles Senn (21) was chosen by the Devils during the 5th round (129th position).
The Haut-Valaisan has become a « little devil »
The tweet of Raeto Raffainer, director of the Swiss national teams
— Raeto Raffainer (@RaetoRaffainer)
Welcome to the NHL, people.
— NHL (@NHL)
Nico Hischier in the arms of his mother Katja
Hischier 7th European drafted « no1 »
Nico Hischier is the 7th European to be called up after Mats Sundin (1989), Roman Hamrlik (1992), Patrik Stefan (1999), Ilya Kovalchuk (2001), Alex Ovechkin (2004) and Nail Yakupov (2012).
The 9th Swiss drafted in the 1st round
There will therefore be 2 Swiss in the New Jersey Devils. Last Friday, 22-year-old defenseman Mirco Müller was traded by the San José Sharks.
— Mirco Mueller (@muellermirco)