Three weeks into the suspension of not only the NHL but sports in our society mean that fans have to look at what’s ahead in the future for our favorite teams and not dwell on the current pandemic crisis.
Life without sports has truly been tough on people but the beauty of athletic competition means it gives all of us one special thing- hope.
Eventually, there will be a return to normalcy in our lives and we can pick and choose which live sporting event to watch on a multitude of sports channels and all of the major sports leagues will be back in our daily routines.
Devils fans can easily look forward to great careers in the making for a number of Devils players who are new to the NHL. One of those up and coming certified stars is Nico Hischier. Hischier represents a triumvirate of young, great talent on the Devils roster and combined with other young sensations Mackenzie Blackwood and Jack Hughes, the future of the Devils as a perpetual playoff contender down the road likes very bright indeed.
Nico Hischier brings an impressive hockey resume to the Devils and his impact on the team the past three seasons has already been felt including developing into an All-Star caliber of player. Hischier was the highest Swiss player ever drafted by an NHL team and came as the first pick overall in the 2017 Draft. Hischier quickly garnered multiple awards while in the major junior ranks including earning All-Rookie honors from the QMJHL in 2017. Interestingly enough, the NHL and the Devils might have never heard from Nico Hischier as he almost gave up on hockey as a youngster back in Switzerland:
“My mom was crying a little bit. My dad was very proud. They were teasing me, like, See? Aren’t you glad you didn’t quit?” Because when I was maybe eight or nine years old, I came home from hockey and told my dad that I was done. I was having a lot more fun playing soccer and I wanted to do that. I actually told my coach I was done! That was it. Retired. I stopped playing for a whole summer.”
Then, of course, after three months, it got cold again, and I saw all my friends playing hockey, and I told my parents that I was coming out of retirement.” – Nico Hischier, theplayerstribune.com, 10/5/17
Hischier had little time to settle into junior hockey when he was actually moved all the way up to the NHL and he made his scoring debut on October 19, 2017, against the Ottawa Senators where he scored his first two NHL goals. Over the course of the 2017-2018 season, Hischier registered 20 goals and 32 assists including a power-play goal for the Devils and was a vital part in the Devils playoff run that season.
The following year, Hischier scored 17 more goals and 30 assists for a very respectable season and increased his power-play goals to three for the year. Hischier solidified his long term presence with the Devils when he signed a seven-year, $50.75 million dollar deal at the beginning of the 2019-20 season; Hischier’s breakout year was already in force this year before the season suspension as he replaced injured teammate Kyle Palmieri as the Devils lone representative to the 2020 NHL All-Star game in St. Louis in January.
GM Ray Shero believes that Nico Hischier is a key piece of the present and the future of the Devils and is clearly happy to keep Hischier on the Devils roster:
“Nico is a special person who possesses a team-first mentality combined with an inner drive to succeed,” Shero said. “The entire organization is thankful to him and his family for believing in our future. We are excited that he will continue to play a prominent role with us for many years to come.” –Ray Shero, espn.com, 10/18/19
While this suspended season looks to be an overall disappointment for the Devils, hope for the future looks very bright in the continued play of young Devils such as Nico Hischier.
Combined with fellow developing young teammates such as Mackenzie Blackwood and Jack Hughes, the Devils look to be viable playoff contenders for years to come as this young nucleus of players all look to be future All-Stars and be a force to contend with on the ice.
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