New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier Is Ready To Explode in 2021-22

Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

It was a tough year for Nico Hischier of the New Jersey Devils. Last season was canceled early and the Devils weren’t invited to the “return to play” bubble for a chance to make the playoffs. Then, he injured himself while training for the 2020-21 season in Switzerland which caused him to miss a good chunk of the year. Right before he was going to come back, he was placed on COVID-19 protocols, so he didn’t come back with the rest of the team. When he came back, a nice “C” was stitched onto his sweater which is an incredible honor. However, just a few games into his return, he took a puck to the face and missed even more time.

Nico Hischier is a huge piece of the New Jersey Devils moving forward.

Hischier still hasn’t exploded offensively. It might be hard to do that with all of the variables that he has dealt with but they do need more offense from him. He did have six goals and five assists for 11 points in 21 games. It took him a few games to get going when he came back from each of his injuries and then the totals started to rise. Those six goals in 21 games is a pace of 23 in a full 82 game schedule. Chances are that he can get to 30 at some point in his career.

It would be nice to see Hischier start picking up more assists. He clearly has the talent to make big plays, which is on display a good amount of the time. Getting him a steady group of wingers to play with and a clean bill of health should allow that to happen.

You can always expect Hischier to be good in all three zones. He plays on the power play, penalty kill, and at even strength at a high level. Speaking of the power play, three of his six goals came with the man advantage. That tied his career-high even though he only played in 21 games. If he gets more power-play time, along with more development, that should increase his point production. All of these things are going to be a big factor in Hischier’s production.

Getting the “C” on his sweater in just year four is an amazing accomplishment. Being a 22-year-old captain in the NHL isn’t something that you see often but Hischier loves to defy odds. He might not have the potential to be a 100 point centerman like Connor McDavid or Nathan MacKinnon but he does have the potential to be an elite 75 point two-way centerman like Jonathan Toews or Patrice Bergeron.

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If Hischier can stay healthy next season, with a strong camp and preseason, he should be ready to explode in 2021-22. People are going to watch him play and understand why the Devils are so high on him. With other high octane youngsters like Jack Hughes, Ty Smith, and Yegor Sharangovich around him, it is going to become a very fun group to watch.