It’s a huge loss for this Devils team against a slumping, albeit still sound Islanders team. It’s always tough to lose your captain, even more so when you throw a first-pairing defenseman out of the mix as well just minutes before puck drop.
Hischier is New Jersey’s top center and has continued his sound two-way game into this season, scoring 16 points through 25 games while averaging 19:17 per game. Commonly playing between Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt, his line is enjoying offensive success.
Graves has been entrusted with tough minutes in his first year as a Devil, forming the top pair alongside free-agent acquisition Dougie Hamilton. Graves isn’t being counted on for offense but still has a respectable 10 points through 25 games.
If not false positives, Hischier and Graves could miss at least seven days while in protocol.