Devils coach Hynes says Hischier played his way into top-six role

It didn’t take long for Nico Hischier to earn himself a spot on one of the New Jersey Devils‘s top two lines, thanks to an impressive training camp and plenty of pre-season success.

Head coach John Hynes had plenty of praise for the 2017 No. 1 overall pick on Friday, telling Devils reporter Chris Ryan that he sees Hischier starting the 2017-18 season at centre.

“Right now he’s a top-six forward. He’s played his way and earned his way into that role,” Hynes told Ryan. “We didn’t start him there, but he played his way into that. I think he’s done a nice job, also, when he’s gotten the opportunity to play on the power play. And we think he’s been able to play centre very well.”

Hischier, who became the first-ever Swiss-born player to be selected first overall this past June, skated in four of the Devils’ six pre-season games, scoring a goal in each appearance and finishing with seven points.

“It looks like he’s been able to handle the responsibilities of a centreman with not too much of a problem,” Hynes said of Hischier’s role. “There’s certain things he can adjust to, but that’s where we see him right now.”

The Devils will start the 2017-18 campaign on Oct. 7 when they host the Colorado Avalanche.