Nico Hischier: No Sophomore Slump

Nico Hischier is really good at a lot of things pertaining to hockey. But according to his New Jersey Devils teammate (and linemate) Kyle Palmieri there’s one thing the Swiss star is not very well polished at. Speaking English. Which he has to do to communicate with his linemates Palmieri (an American) and Taylor Hall (a Canadian).

When we asked Palmieri if he’s amazed at what Hischier has been doing at the NHL level and he hasn’t even turned 20-years-old yet he replied, “He makes me feel old, that’s for sure. He’s 19-years-old. Looking back my first-year pro was at 19 and it’s tough. He’s done a great job adjusting. I think the slowest thing coming for him is his English,” Palmieri said with a grin. “I think the hockey part of it is natural and he’s such a gifted player, the way he works on and off the ice is what’s setting him up for success; and we’ll just keep working on the English.”

Now in his second season, the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft is showing no signs of any sophomore slump with the Devils as he continues to center their top line and has put up ten points (3g-7a) over the first 11 games. Last season Hischier was New Jersey’s only player to appear in all 82 games and finished with 52 points (20g-32a).

Living the Life
The Swiss star is well aware that having a player of Hall’s caliber by his side makes life easier for him as he navigates his way through the NHL. “I feel really comfortable with him. I mean, who’s not feeling comfortable with him?,” Hischier responded with a grin when we asked if last season’s chemistry with the league MVP has carried over to this season.

“He’s a great player. I’m fortunate to play with him and I try my best each night to get our line going. Just work as hard as I can in my own zone to get the puck as quick as possible on offense and create some chances there too.”

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His percentage of winning face-offs has taken a bit of a dip through the first part of his second season but Palmieri was quick to point out that cheap nhl jerseys china
those numbers aren’t really all about Hischier. “I think right now he’s struggling a little bit with the face-offs, and me and Hallsy – I think both of us can look at video and try to do a better job at getting in at some of those 50-50 pucks, getting him some wins in that way,” said the Devils’ current leading goal scorer.

High Praise for Hischier
“He’s gotten stronger, and you saw on Hall’s goal (against Florida) – he put on a clinic protecting the puck and I was able to get some space off of him drawing two guys to him. We got a little 2-on-1 break there in front of the net. It shows the way Nico’s rounded out his game. Obviously, he has that world-class skill level, but he plays in the dirty areas and is able to play a heavy game. Even though he’s not the most physically gifted as far as muscle goes, he’s way stronger than he looks and he’s incredibly hard to get off the puck.”

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