The New Jersey Devils know they have something special in Nico Hischier and adding him to the top PP unit would go a long way in him breaking out.
Nico Hischier is one of the key pieces to the future of the New Jersey Devils. He had yet another underrated season that is going to go unnoticed because he wasn’t a world-beater offensively. People who don’t watch every game that he plays and then says something negative about his play just doesn’t get it. He has been very good for a very young player trying to evolve into a star.
Is he Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews as a fellow first-overall pick? No, he is not. The problem is that you can’t expect every number one overall pick to be that. Hischier is still growing and he has a lot of things to work on but he is well on his way to being a star player in the National Hockey League.
He is projected to be the type of player that plays an elite game in all three zones while contributing a good amount of offense. Players like Jonathan Toews, Aleksander Barkov, and Patrice Bergeron all come to mind. It isn’t saying that he will be that good but it is saying that he will be close to that level of player playing that type of game. The Selke Trophy type player is exactly what the Devils are hoping that Hischier will become.
A key to that will be him picking up some more points on a regular basis. The thing people don’t realize is the fact that he has been a very good point producer at even strength. He matched his normal goal pace this season as he had 14 goals in 58 games. That is a 20 goal pace over a full 82 game schedule. He also produced five on five points at a higher clip than players like Claude Giroux, Blake Wheeler, John Tavares, and Johnny Gaudreau which is an impressive company to be with.
Hischier has had all of his points pretty much come at even strength. He still isn’t on the team’s top power-play unit despite all of the things you just learned about his game. He was the sixth most-used player on New Jersey’s power play in 2019-20, despite Taylor Hall and Wayne Simmonds freeing some time following their trades.
Nico simply needs to be given a more prominent role on the power play. He is the best player on the Devils right now and they still don’t use him on the top unit. That is on coaching and hopefully, whoever they bring in puts him in his rightful spot on the top power play. If he is able to start really increasing his power-play points per game, the point totals, in general, will skyrocket. If this happens, Nico will start to be given more of the type of credit that he deserves.