In the latest 2017 NHL mock draft by MyNHLDraft.com, the Vegas Golden Knights are slated to draft Nico Hischier. A 17 year-old forward who’s been dubbed the Swiss Connor McDavid. Do I have your attention now? Really, scouts are gushing over Hischier’s size, skill, and maturity. He’s an A-Rated skater by NHL Central Scouting, and currently ranks third among 2017 prospects. Some believe Hischier has the potential to be the best Swiss player that ever lived.
The right-handed, 6’1, 175lbs Center consistently lights the lamp for the Halifax Mooseheads. In 31 games this year, Hischier has an impressive 23 goals and 25 assists. The rookie Moosehead even broke a club record with six points in one game. Former Moosehead players Jonathan Drouin, Brad Marchand, Nathan MacKinnon and Jakub Voracek never scored three goals, and had three assists in the same game. Watch him score his hat trick, he puts himself in proper position on all three goals. Great ice awareness. On top of his scoring touch, the Swiss forward is highly proficient with the puck. Scouts evaluate Hischier’s puck control as high as any other 2017 prospect. On top of puck control, his defense is also highly rated. The rookie Moosehead’s overall play receives nothing but praise.
He can beat you in so many ways. He can beat you with faceoffs, he can beat you with defensive play. He’s really, really proud of his defense, he can beat you with his work ethic, his intensity, his skill, he can beat you on the rush. He can beat you on the power play, he can beat you on the PK. He’s a really complete player. I compare him a lot to Henrik Zetterberg when he was in his prime. When you were playing against him he was always efficient in every area of the game. -Andre Tourigny, Halifax Mooseheads Head Coach
Holy smokes, Henrik Zetterberg. Vegas would be ecstatic with that type of talent.
Really creative and skilled pivot who can also fire the puck and is a highly effective player off the rush. Has the potential to be deadly on the power play. -Jeff Marek, Sportsnet
However, not everything Marek said was positive.
Scouts wonder about his strength and if that’s reflected in his being selective about when he competes hard. Wasn’t at his best at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, where some scouts said he seemed uninterested at times. Other scouts think he’s a better Swiss prospect than Kevin Fiala (NSH) or Timo Meier (SJ).
A very balanced review from the Canadian half of Wyshinski & Marek. It seems most scouts are excited about Hischier, but his negative reviews should worry George McPhee. You never want to see a high prospect uninterested in the game. Players that don’t compete hard are looked down upon by teammates and fans. Having his strength question is another concern but not as much as his intensity. Really though, who are we kidding? Even with alarming attributes, Hischier’s talent is worth the risk.
Overall, Hischier plays an NHL style of hockey. He’s incredibly skilled and mature enough to adapt to the North American game. If Vegas were to select Hischier, the franchise’s future offense would be built around the Swiss youngster. Puck control, ice awareness, skating ability and effective back-checking are all features you want from a first round pick. Hischier and two other top-rated centers are expected to go top five in 2017. The Golden Knights should be guaranteed one of them. Look across the league, teams with top-rated centers are normally successful. Tourigny, albeit his coach speaks glowingly about Hischier’s attitude and character. If he’s a good guy and highly skilled the Golden Knights should be very optimistic. Lets only hope he lands with Vegas.
He may not be McJesus, but he could be Nico the Knight.