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Nico Hischier
Nico Hischier.jpg
Born 4 January 1999 (1999-01-04) (age 20)
Naters, Switzerland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 179 lb (81 kg; 12 st 11 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team (P)
Cur. team
Former teams
New Jersey Devils
Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
EHC Visp
SC Bern
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2017
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 2015–present

Nico Hischier (born January 4, 1999) is a Swiss ice hockey player currently playing with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and a prospect for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Nico made his pro debut in his native Switzerland in 2015, spending time both in the top-tier National League A (NLA) and the second-tier National League B. He moved to North America for the 2015–16 season to play major junior hockey for Halifax in hopes of furthering his hockey career.

Internationally, he has represented Switzerland at several junior tournaments, including two World Junior Championships.

Regarded as a top prospect for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Nico was selected first overall by the Devils, the first time a Swiss player was selected first overall.

Playing CareerEdit

Playing Career in SwitzerlandEdit

Nico grew up playing in the EHC Visp program. At the age of 15 he moved from his native canton of Valais, in the south of Switzerland, to Bern and joined SC Bern, following his brother Luca, who had done the same at that age; this allowed Hischier to play at the top levels of the Swiss under-17 and under-20 leagues.

Nico began the 2015–16 season with EHC Visp, an affiliate of SC Bern, in the National League B, the second-highest Swiss league, but due to several players being out with injuries in Bern, Nico was brought to the top team on November 13, 2015, playing with his brother. He would play 15 games with Bern, spending most of the season with Visp

Playing Career in North AmericaEdit

Nico was selected 6th overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. After discussing with Halifax's general manager and Swiss former Mooseheads player Timo Meier, he committed to Halifax. His first season with the Mooseheads saw him finish second to Maxime Fortier for the team scoring lead, and tenth overall in the QMJHL, with 38 goals and 86 points.

Nico also led all QMJHL rookies in both goals and points. For this, he was awarded the RDS Cup for the QMJHL Rookie of the Year and awarded the Michael Bossy Trophy as the best pro prospect in the league & named to the QMJHL Rookie All-Star Team. In the playoffs, Nico led Halifax in scoring with seven point in six games.

Regarded as a top prospect going into the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, by the conclusion of the season, Nico was regarded as a candidate to be selected first overall.

He was ranked the second-best North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau final list prior to the draft, Nico was highly regarded as a tremendous offensive talent with exceptional hockey sense. He was also regarded as a strong two-way player, and well-regarded for his strong skating abilities.

In the lead-up to the draft, Nico was regarded as a consensus top-two pick along with Nolan Patrick. He was selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils, becoming the first Swiss to be drafted first overall.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2014–15 Bern U20 Elite Jr. A 11 1 1 2 2 10 3 3 6 0
2015–16 Bern U20 Elite Jr. A 18 11 17 28 6 9 1 8 9 2
2015–16 SC Bern NLA 15 1 0 1 2
2015–16 EHC Visp NLB 7 1 1 2 0 6 2 0 2 8
2016–17 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 57 38 48 86 24 6 3 4 7 0
NLA totals 15 1 0 1 2
QMJHL totals 57 38 48 86 24 6 3 4 7 0

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2015 Switzerland U18 5 1 0 1 0
2015 Switzerland IH18 4 3 3 6 0
2016 Switzerland U18 5 1 3 4 0
2016 Switzerland WJC 6 0 2 2 0
2016 Switzerland IH18 3 1 1 2 2
2017 Switzerland WJC 5 4 3 7 2
2017 Switzerland U18 5 1 5 6 0
Junior totals 32 11 17 28 4

International PlayEdit

Nico's international tournament was the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championships, hosted in his native Switzerland. He scored one goal as the Swiss finished fourth overall.

Next, Nico played in the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (a tournament not regulated by the International Ice Hockey Federation, but was still considered a major event for under-18 players) where he recorded six points over four games. At the 2016 IIHF World U18 Championships, he had four points as Switzerland placed eighth.

At the 2016 World Junior Championships, Nico was the youngest player for Switzerland, and the second youngest player overall. He also participated in the 2017 World Juniors, scoring four goals and had seven total points in five games, the most by any player eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Nico also participated at the 2017 IIHF World U18 Championships, and finished with six points in five games as Switzerland lost in the quarter-finals.

AccoladesEdit

QMJHL

  • RDS Cup (2017)
  • Michael Bossy Trophy (2017)
  • Rookie All-Star Team (2017)

Personal LifeEdit

Nico comes from a family of athletes; his father Rino played football for FC Naters & his mother Katja worked as a sports teacher. He is the youngest of three siblings with an older brother Luca and a sister, Nina.

Luca played for SC Bern in the NLA while Nina played volleyball at a high level in Switzerland. There was no rinks in Naters, so Katja took both her sons to nearby Visp to learn to skate and they discovered hockey there.

Nico also played football until he was 12 years old (followed by Luca) and focused exclusively on hockey.