2. A Little Injury Luck
If Hischier didn’t have bad luck last season, he would have no luck at all. We mentioned how often Hischier was hurt last season. He only played 21 games in the 56-game season. He also had to recover from COVID, play on a recently broken leg, learn to play with a face cage, and had to learn a new system under Lindy Ruff. There was no way it was going to work out.
Now, Hischier is fully healthy, and he is ready to put last season behind him. He had to push forward as this is his fifth season in the NHL. There are certain expectations at this point. Nobody is using the “bust” term with Hischier, but with players from his draft class like Elias Pettersson, Cale Makar, and Miro Heiskanen showing that they are already superstars, it’s time for Hischier to get into that tier.
There are no more excuses for Hischier. We used them all up last season. The Devils have had three straight seasons where they fell well below expectations. Hischier needed to live up to these expectations as the top center for his entire career. After losing his spot due to injury (ironic since that’s what happened to Travis Zajac), he has a chance to show why the Devils have two iconic centers down the middle, and not just Hughes and the other guy.