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Road to the NHL Draft: Nico Hischier

Nico Hischier

Position: Center

Junior team: Halifax (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 57 games, 38 goals, 48 assists, 86 points

Size: 6-foot-1, 176 pounds

Born: Naters, Switzerland

Central Scouting rank: No. 2 (North America)

What to know: Switzerland will be watching to see if Hischier becomes the country’s highest-drafted player. The Swiss won’t be watching long. Hischier is expected to go first or second, topping the No. 5 selection of countryman Nino Niederreiter in 2010.

After playing in professional Swiss leagues, Hischier left home this season and quickly adapted to the North American game. He was the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year and earned the Mike Bossy Trophy as the league’s top prospect. He’s tested himself at the last two world junior championships, including a four-goal, seven-point showing in five games this year.

Though wiry, Hischier isn’t afraid to get to the boards or the net. He has good speed, but his agility is what has set him apart.

They said it: “Hischier is definitely worth the price of admission. He has a high skill level, but what’s most impressive is the way he competes, his drive and work ethic. He is a player who is first on the forecheck forcing a turnover, and when the play transitions, he’s the first player back. He’s in that category as a special player.” – Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling prospects leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 23-24 in Chicago.

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