NHL Devils take Swiss forward Hischier first overall

NHL Devils take Swiss forward Hischier first overall

Nico Hischier is being selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils during the 2017 NHL Draft, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on June 23

The New Jersey Devils chose Nico Hischier with their top pick in the NHL entry draft on Friday, making the slick centre the first Swiss player to be taken first overall in the annual selection of top prospects.

Pre-draft hype had focused on Hischier and 18-year-old Canadian Nolan Patrick, with no consensus on who would be the top pick.

Patrick was quickly taken second by the Philadelphia Flyers as the first round got under way at the United Center arena in Chicago.

It was the first time the entry draft was held in Chicago in 54 years and, with the inclusion of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, boasted a record-high 31 teams.

Hischier is a skilled playmaker and can infuse the Devils with some much-needed offense.

"I am speechless," Hischier said. "I don't know what to say. It is an incredible feeling."

Nolan Patrick poses for a photo after being selected second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2017 NHL Draft, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on June 23

Nino Niederreiter, who was taken fifth overall by the New York Islanders in 2010, was previously the Swiss player to go highest in the draft.

Hischier racked up 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was named the league's rookie of the year.

The selection marked the Devils' first No. 1 overall draft pick in franchise history.

Finland's Miro Heiskanen was the first defenceman taken when the Dallas Stars selected him at number three.

Defenceman Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche) and centre Elias Petterson (Vancouver Canucks) round out the top five picks.

The Golden Knights used their first draft pick at No. 6 overall to select Cody Glass, an 18-year-old from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Glass scored 94 points in 69 games last season.

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4634574/NHL-Devils-Swiss-forward-Hischier-overall.html

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