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New Jersey Devils 2019-20 player profile: Nico Hischier

August 17, 2019, 10:15 AM ET [9 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world, I've decided to take the plunge and write daily profiles for members of the New Jersey Devils.

I'll be commenting on the year each player just had as well as their projected role and expectations for 2019-20. I've written eight thus far, with Jesper Bratt being the most recent player profiled.

Today we're going with Nico Hischier

Counting stats: 69 games played, 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists), 18:06 average time on ice

5v5 underlyings: 1.79 points/60, +3.51 CF% Rel, +11.95 GF% Rel, +6.01 xGF% Rel, 100.05 PDO

2018-19 review: I thought Nico was tremendous last season. Everything I wanted to see, I saw. Hischier produced 47 points in 69 games – more per game than as a rookie – despite playing without his partner in crime Taylor Hall for all of 2019. Hischier proved he could still be productive on his own. His defensive game improved, as the Devils allowed fewer shot attempts, chances, and goals per 60 minutes with Hischier on the ice. That wasn't the case as a rookie. I'll also note his faceoff% rose from 42.9% to 45.2% for those who really value that aspect of the game. On top of all else, his relative impact was excellent across the board and he continued to draw penalties at a very high rate while limiting the amount he took. There really wasn't much – anything? – to complain about with his game.

Fun fact(s): Nico Hischier ranked 17th among all centers in Goals Above Replacement (+14.3) last season, according to Evolving-Hockey.com. This while appearing in just 69 games.

2019-20 outlook: Hischier was a very productive 5v5 player, and play driver, even with limited talent around him. Now he is going to have very competent wingers by his side regardless if one or two are out with injuries, and there will be limitless talent around him on special teams. If he stays healthy, I really don't think ~70 points is out of the question. Hischier is going to open a lot of eyes this season.

numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com

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