The New Jersey Devils selected Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick at the 2017 NHL Draft. It was race until the end between Hischier and Nolan Patrick. “It feels unbelievable.” Hischier said after his name was called. “I was a long time speechless, and I can’t believe it, so it feels just great.”
Here is his Q and A after he was drafted:
Did you have any indication that the Devils would pick you?
NICO HISCHIER: No, I didn’t know anything, so it was — yeah, it was from one second to the other.
Q. Being ranked second and going first is a great accomplishment . . .
NICO HISCHIER: Yeah, sure, I’m really happy and I’m really enjoying this moment.
Q. At what point of the year did you get a feeling that you maybe had a shot at that No. 1 spot? NICO HISCHIER: Well, I had a good season in Halifax, and afterwards, I knew until now I’m playing good, and, well, I just tried to keep it up and to work hard until the end of the season. Yeah, I’m so happy that it comes like this.
Q. Now that you’ve had a chance to talk with some members of the Devils’ management, what are your thoughts about joining the team?
NICO HISCHIER: Just great. I mean, to join such an amazing team with a lot of history, it’s just awesome, and I’m really happy to be part of that organization, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Q. How much do you know about the organization?
NICO HISCHIER: Yeah, well, I didn’t focus on one team. I didn’t have any expectation. But I knew Damien Brunner, who’s a Swiss guy that played there for a little, and Martin Brodeur and those guys, [Ilya] Kovalchuk. They have a good history there, 100 percent.
Q. You said you didn’t know you were going to be the No. 1 pick. How were the hours leading up to that without knowing what was going to happen?
NICO HISCHIER: Yeah, I have to say this morning it was fine, and then as soon as I stepped here in the ice rink, then my pulse went up and stayed there.
Q. We saw you grab your heart and you were coming off the stage. Is it pounding out of your chest at that point? Can you talk us through what was going through your mind there?
NICO HISCHIER: Yeah, 100 percent. I think — I have a new pulse max, so on the ice I’m not keeping that pulse so high.
Q. When you woke up this morning, what would did you think your odds were of wearing this jersey tonight?
NICO HISCHIER: I would say I didn’t want to focus on one team. I was open for everything, but I’m so glad right now to wear this jersey and to be part of this organization.
There was a coin toss between you and another prospect. What does it mean to you to go first rather than somewhere else?
NICO HISCHIER: Well, yeah, it means a lot. I mean, it makes it even more special, and to share that moment with my family, it’s just unbelievable. I have to see them and thank them again.
Q. Do you worry at all that you’re setting yourself up on too big of a note?
NICO HISCHIER: I mean, it means a lot. I already said there are a lot of guys in Switzerland supporting me in this way, and they do a great job with their players, and for me, it means a lot, as well. I’m just happy.
Earlier in the month Patrick and Hischier battled it out at the NHL Scouting Combing in Buffalo, NY. Sportainment was there: