Nico Hischier Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #2

Welcome back to Top Shelf Hockey Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Nico Hischier.

Nico Hischier has been rising up the rankings all season long. Drafted 6th overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in the CHL Import Draft, the Swiss sensation lit up the QMJHL in his rookie season. He scored 38 goals and 86 points in just 57 games. He also did well in the World Junior Championships, putting up seven points in just five games. Hischier has been dynamic all season long. He capped it off by outperforming Nolan Patrick in a head-to-head meeting at the CHL Top Prospects Game. He already has experience playing against men, with 15 games for Bern in the Swiss A League last season.

Hischier had risen all the way up to number one in our February Rankings, but drops one spot in our final rankings, as he did seem to fade just a bit down the stretch.

Nico Hischier Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #2

Center — shoots Left
Born Jan 4 1999 — Naters, Switzerland
Height 6’1″ — Weight 174 lbs [185 cm / 79 kg]


Hischier is a very good skater. He has a very quick first step and excellent acceleration. His top end speed is good, but not great; but he makes up for it with his quickness and ability to quickly change speeds. Defenders must respect his skating ability as he can quickly turn on the jets and beat them wide one-on-one and drive to the net. He also has excellent agility, as well as great edge work. This creates even more problems for defenders, both off the rush, and when he works in the cycle game. Hischier has good balance and a low centre of gravity, allowing him to win board battles, and work down low in the cycle game.

Offensive Game

Hischier is a playmaker, with outstanding vision and passing ability. He has excellent hockey sense, and anticipates his teammates movements in the offensive zone. Hischier almost always makes the smart play with the puck, and he finds openings in the defence when he doesn’t have it. His skating, along with quick hands, allow him to avoid defenders and make him very elusive when working the puck in the offensive zone. Hischier’s ability to make plays with the puck, while moving at top speed is something that is pretty rare to see in a 17-year-old. His stickhandling is amongst the best in this draft class.  He can deke players in a phone booth, and his puck control and protection is incredible.

Hischier can score goals with his quick hands in tight to the net, and a very quick release on his wrist and snap shots. He has good accuracy and power on his wide arsenal of shots. Hischier also has a very high work ethic, he never seems to stop working during a shift. Size is the biggest concern at this point. Hischier will need to add muscle to his frame before moving to the next level.

Defensive Game

Hischier’s defensive game is well-rounded given his age. He is strong positionally, and anticipates well.  When he creates turnovers, with his active stick, he is able to quickly transition the puck and create an offensive chance. He also is very good in the face-off circle.

Projection and Comparison

Hischier has the potential to be a first line player in the NHL, however he may need a bit more time to develop. He very well could use a season in the AHL (and as a player on loan to Halifax from Switzerland, would be eligible to go there next year), before being NHL ready. In terms of a comparison, and this is a style comparison and not a talent one; Hischier’s game is reminiscent of Pavel Datsyuk.


The following is a compilation of highlights found on youtube.


Check back tomorrow for the number three prospect on our list.

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