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2017 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile: Nico Hischier

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Will the Dallas Stars draft the Swiss Connor McDavid?

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

Name: Nico Hischier

2016-17 Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Stats: 57 GP, 38 goals, 48 assists, 86 points, 24 PIMs

Future Considerations Ranking: 2nd

NHL Comparable Player: Pavel Datsyuk

Nico Hischier 2017 NHL Draft scouting report | SB Nation NHL D...

Nico Hischier has dazzling offensive talents. Will he be a Flyer or a Devil?

Posted by SB Nation NHL on Monday, May 15, 2017

There has been a lot written on how the 2017 NHL Draft is going to be weaker than previous years.

While it is accepted that there isn’t a generational player like Connor McDavid that isn’t to say that there are extremely talented players who will be going in the top end of the draft.

Nico Hischier, one of the best if not the best player Switzerland has ever produced, and is one of those who has the potential to step into an NHL lineup next year and within a few years be centring a top line in the NHL.

Hischier, who plays at centre, is the best playmaker in the 2017 draft and during his rookie season in the QMJHL he lit up the league with 86 points in 57 games for the Mooseheads after they selected him 6th overall in the CHL Import Draft.

He also showed his talent at the World Junior Championships where he finished with seven points in five games for the Swiss.

When he went head to head with fellow top prospect Nolan Patrick at the CHL Top Prospect game it was clear to most who came out on top - the young Swiss forward.

Hischier already has most of the tools, if not the entire toolbox, to be a top centre in the NHL.

His skating is very good, although some say it could be a bit better, but he can move fast and shift direction smoothly when at speed.

As already mentioned his playmaking skills are superb. Sometimes it appears like the puck is actually glued to his stick as he makes his way through the opposition.

Hischier can set up his teammates or get his own powerful shot away after he has made the space from his stickhandling work.

The Datsyuk comparison comes primarily from his playmaking and stickhandling ability - whether he can live up to that in terms of production and NHL longevity is a different matter.

Defensively he is no slouch, he shows great awareness of the play developing and is nearly always in a good position to help out. However, it is his offensive game and playmaking that is going to see him getting taken within the top five, if not top three, in this draft.

On the physical side of things Hischier isn’t the biggest prospect in this draft by a long way. He is only 6’0” and 175lbs - don’t expect him to be throwing bone crunching hits.

Despite his elite talent and strong showing in the QMJHL there are still things to work on to make sure he can make that jump to the top line of an NHL team.

Another season in the QMJHL or loaning him to a top tier team in Sweden or Finland to play against adults would be the best bet for Hischier’s development.