After a whirlwind summer that saw him become the first Swiss born player drafted first overall, Nico Hischier was happy to get his NHL pre-pre-season debut at the Prospects Challenge at the Harbor Center in Buffalo, New York.
Hischier was a force all game long, showing an elite skill set with the puck as well as his play away from the puck that showed the Devils made a wise selection by choosing the slick center first overall.
Your first opportunity against other NHL prospects, how did it go?
HISCHIER: It’s always a good feeling to play your first game of the season and it was a fun game. I felt good, actually. I felt really good.
How did you feel about your line with Nick Lappin and John Quenneville who both played in the NHL last year, did playing with them help you adjust quicker?
Really good. I can learn from them and it’s good for me and it’s easier for me to get into the game with them.
Were you comfortable tonight at center? Last time we spoke, you said you wanted to work on faceoffs to prove you could handle the center position.
I actually did more off ice work, but, in August I was on the ice and I practiced a lot of faceoffs, but I’m still on it and trying to get better every game and every practice.
You had a nice steal on Nic Baptiste in the first, is that your game? Do you enjoy the 200 foot game?
Yeah exactly. I always try to compete as hard as I can and to help the team. It’s not always in the offense, you have to back check as hard as you can and play well defensively and that’s exactly what I want to play.
How did you feel about your overall game?
I felt good. It’s always a little bit weird the first couple of shifts because you didn’t play all summer, but Lappin and Quenneville helped me come into the game and get into right away. The whole team battled through this game and I personally felt good out there.
What did you think of the job Will Butcher did tonight?
He’s a great player! You could see out there what he’s able to do. He’s got a lot of poise and makes good plays, he’s a really good defenseman and we’re just happy to have him.