While most people believe that the New Jersey Devils will be selecting Nolan Patrick with the No. 1 overall pick this Friday, Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi writes that looking back at general manager Ray Shero’s history, it’s more likely that the Devils will take Nico Hischier at that spot. The scribe interviewed Ryan Wagman, who is the head scouting director of McKeen’s Hockey, who says that Shero’s draft history all the way back to 2006 in Pittsburgh shows that he has a tendency to focus on dynamic players.
While Wagman has Patrick listed as No. 1 on his scouting list, he believes that Hischier is the more dynamic of the two and Shero may lean that way, allowing the Flyers to get the most-ready player in the draft in Patrick. He describes Patrick as a solid all-around player, who will be ready to handle the physicality of the NHL immediately. Injuries have affected him, but Patrick attempted to show everyone at the scouting combine a couple of weeks ago that he’s healthy. Wagman compares Patrick to a young Eric Staal, who was the No. 2 overall pick in 2003 and went to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hischier has better skills, but needs time to grow into his body. However, Wagman claims that Hischier has dynamic puck skills, is a great skater and is more of a two-way player and be more attractive to Shero has time to wait. He compares Hischier to Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was a first-rounder in 2010. He adds that while Patrick is 100 percent ready to join an NHL team immediately, Hischier is more of an 80 percent chance. While he has the skills to play in the NHL, it’s more likely his body needs more time unless he is paired up with teammates that can protect him.