The Devils on Friday signed Hischier to a $50.75 million, seven-year contract extension that counts $7.25 million against the salary cap through the 2026-27 season. Committing long term to Hischier is another important move for New Jersey, which is trying to become a perennial contender again.
"I like the direction the organization is going in, and the confidence they give me is all a player can ask for," Hischier said. "We have a young, exciting team, and I am driven to try my best to help the team succeed every day. I was really welcomed here from day one, and I have always felt that I wanted to be part of the Devils."
Hischier, the first Swiss player to go first overall in the NHL draft, was set to be a restricted free agent this summer. Instead, he’ll make $7 million in the first season of his new deal, all the way up to $8.5 million in the seventh year.
"Once we were aware that Nico was open to a longer-term extension, that was always our interest, as well," general manager Ray Shero told The Associated Press. "It gives us clarity and cap certainty in our planning for a foundational type player who is still only 20 years old."
Hischier has 37 goals and 64 assists for 101 points in his first 157 regular-season NHL games. Along with 2019 No. 1 pick Jack Hughes, Hischier is part of the next generation of stars for New Jersey, which has made the playoffs just once in the past seven years.
"Nico is a special person who possesses a team-first mentality combined with an inner drive to succeed," Shero said. "The entire organization is thankful to him and his family for believing in our future. We are excited that he will continue to play a prominent role with us for many years to come."
Signing Hischier long term is another signal to left winger Taylor Hall about the Devils’ commitment to winning. Hall could leave in free agency this summer and has said winning is a major ingredient in his decision to re-sign or depart.
Shero this past off-season acquired defenceman P.K. Subban and forward Nikita Gusev and signed winger Wayne Simmonds. New Jersey has just one win in its first seven games this season, and Hischier has two points.