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Nico Hischier: The Guy We Need?

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The debate of Nico vs. Nolan has heated up all season.

Halifax Mooseheads v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

At the Beginning of the season Nico Hischier was nowhere to be found on most people’s top 5 lists. That didn’t deter the ‘Swiss Connor McDavid’ from showing scouts that he is among the elite in this year’s draft!

Here’s a quick analysis of the Nico vs. Nolan debate courtesy of notable hockey minds Craig Button and Bob McKenzie from TSN.

The Basics

Position: C

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 174 lbs.

Shoots: L

The Naters, Switzerland native has been nothing short of incredible this year putting up gaudy scoring numbers for every team that he’s played with, including 15 points in 11 games with the Swiss under-20 team (pre-tournament inclusive). As we all know, the World Junior Tournament is renowned for being a showcase for players who have been drafted, but don’t tell Hischier that!

Back in Halifax, Hischier was anything but average amassing 86 points in 57 games in his first (and potentially only) season in the CHL. With incredible hockey sense, great foot speed, and smooth puck release skills you can see the adoration of Hischier’s offensive game. His defensive game is solid for his age, which is a bit beyond the norm young players. Given more coaching and time, his 2 way game will only get stronger and potentially see him become a really great defensive presence.

The scouts are all speaking favorably about Nico Hischier, here’s the Las Vegas Golden Knight’s head scout talking about what he’s seen of the young Swiss Center.

There have been interesting side by side videos made to try to correlate a prospect’s skill set to that of a current or former player. Here’s an example, with Hischier being compared to several current NHL players. It is by no means a definitive solution to speed comparisons, but it does give a sense of the Swiss forward’s speed.

There are many different opinions on who is the most adequate comparison, but the consensus seems to be that his game projects to be an offensive player who can play strong defense like Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg in their prime.

With the Canucks guaranteed to hold a top 5 pick (and possibly one of the top 2), is Nico Hischier the player we need to accelerate our rebuild?