Nico Hischier was one of the best New Jersey Devils forwards in 2021-22. He was very good from the All-Star break on and that helped him cap off what would become his career year up to this point. It left a lot of people wanting more which makes his 2022-23 season that much more exciting.
He is beginning his attempt to bring even more next year by playing in the 2022 IIHF World Championships for Team Switzerland. It isn’t the same level of competition as the National Hockey League in this annual tournament but it is pretty close as there are lots of NHL players playing.
On Wednesday, Hischier and his Swiss teammates took on Team Slovakia. Hischier scored what would be the game-winning goal in the third period. It was his second goal of the IIHF World Championship tournament. It was also his third point in four games.
It is good to see Hischier making an impact in meaningful games. He is the captain of that team as well so it is important for him to lead the way. He is certainly one of the best players on the Devils and one of the best Swiss players in the world.
Jonas Siegenthaler also played in this game for Team Swiss. He was one of their most important defensemen as he played 21:17. The Devils shut him down in the final few weeks of the season because of injury but he should be a part of the top-four defense in 2022-23.
The New Jersey Devils have a lot of good players playing at the IIHF Worlds.
On the opposite side for Slovakia, Tomas Tatar played and earned an assist which was his first assist and second point of the tournament. He didn’t have the best season for New Jersey but he contributed some offense from time to time.
Slovakia also featured Juraj Slafkovsky who is a prospect that New Jersey will consider with the second overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He scored an amazing goal (Tatar’s assist came here) that tied the game (at the time) at two.
He clearly has an incredible ability to shoot the puck quickly with deception and pinpoint accuracy. This tournament isn’t the end all be all but it is an event to use as an evaluation tool when such a big decision looms. This kid is the real deal.
The win put the Swiss at 4-0-0 and in sole possession of first place in Group A. Their next game, however, is a big one as they play Team Canada which is also an undefeated Group A squad. It is obviously going to be a very big game for them.
This big showdown between Team Swiss and Team Canada will take place on Saturday morning bright and early. Hischier and Siegenthaler will see Damon Severson and Dawson Mercer on the other side which should make things fun for everyone.
Everybody talks about Jack Hughes as the superstar point per game player that New Jersey has. Well, don’t disrespect Hischier either. He has a very similar offensive potential and he showed that in the second half of 2021-22 when things got back to normal. He is going to be so good for a long time.