When the New Jersey Devils strode to the podium at the NHL Entry Draft this year, there was one name on their minds: Nico Hischier. The Swiss-born forward playing in Eastern Canada had flown up draft boards with a big season, and would become the first-overall pick ahead of long-expected Nolan Patrick. Immediately Devils fans started speculating on where Hischier fit in both long and short term on the team, hoping maybe he could even crack the roster as an 18-year old.
Mike Morreale of NHL.com now reports that Devils’ coach John Hynes expects Hischier to play center right from the beginning, and doesn’t need the protection of starting on the wing. That would push someone else aside, and as Morreale projects that would be Adam Henrique moving to the wing. Remember, the Devils also brought in Brian Boyle and Marcus Johansson to the forward group, giving them half a dozen players capable of lining up in the middle.
- Craig Custance of The Athletic was on Sportsnet 960 radio this morning, talking mostly about his outlet’s new take on sports journalism. He did offer an interesting take on the Matt Duchene situation though, saying that there has been some frustration around the league that Joe Sakic is holding out for “a homerun”. Custance says that Colorado is “really trying to win that deal and do it lop-sided” which is holding up any potential move. With the Avalanche struggling to reclaim relevancy, and with bad trade examples in recent history, Duchene has to be a win for the franchise.
- Stevie Moses is back in North America for the 2017-18 season, signing a one-year AHL deal with the Rochester Americans. Moses has had quite the hockey career so far, from lighting up the NCAA with the University of New Hampshire, to leading the KHL in goal scoring in Jokerit’s first year in the league (ahead of players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Artemi Panarin and Alexander Radulov). Though he’s had AHL stints before, the undrafted Moses has never made it to the NHL and still would have to show something new in his game to get there.