Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: C Nico Hischier

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Today we will focus on QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads centre Nico Hischier!

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Name: Nico Hischier

Position: Centre

Shoots: Right

Birthdate: 1999-01-04

Height, weight: 6’1,174 lbs

Team, league: Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

Stats (from 








#2 by
#2 by ISS Hockey
#2 by Future Considerations
#2 by McKeen’s Hockey
#2 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 5/5

NHL-potential: First-line centre

Draft Range: Top three

Scouting report

"A smooth-skating, playmaking center…good skating agility and top speed, but is more quick than fast…is able to make quick turns and displays good lateral movement…not big or strong, but still shows willingness to take hits and battle for space…goes into board battles and uses his body to fight for pucks…excellent playmaking instincts, vision and passing skills…puts puck where his linemates can best utilize the chance…an incredible stickhandler who thrives in possession and can make defenders look foolish…competitive and driven…poise is a major standout attribute…dangerous when given time, especially on the power play as he takes full control of the play from the half wall with the puck, using his impressive agility, hands and vision to make plays…plays a responsible defensive game…one of the best talents to come out of Switzerland. (Future Considerations)"


If there is one player who can challenge Nolan Patrick for the first-overall selection, it’s Nico Hischier — and for good reason. The Swiss centre combines high-end puck skills with elite hockey sense and strong two way play. In other words, he is exactly what teams want in their top six.

More from Draft

There really isn’t much Hischier can’t do offensively. He is a terrific skater who loves using quick movements and his equally quick hands to move past defencemen. Hischier has excellent vision and passing skill which allows him to set up teammates for scoring chances. But, he also has an outstanding release on his wrist shot that can cause trouble for opposing goaltenders.

Hischier isn’t overly big or strong, but that doesn’t prevent him from making plays offensively. He goes to the dirty areas like he just doesn’t care about size deficits, and he has been mightily successful playing that way. Hischier knows what he can do, and he is simply confident in doing it.

Last but not least, Hischier knows his defensive responsibilities and plays a sound defensive game. The more exciting aspect about his game is obviously his offensive prowess, but it’s always good to have centres you can rely on in all three zones.


A 6-foot-1, 174-pound centre, Hischier does not have ideal NHL size. Especially considering his style of play — often rushing through anything and anyone standing in his way — that could become an issue at the next level. That said, if he can bulk up a bit over the next few years and get stronger, this shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Apparently some scouts worry about Hischier showing more fatigue than he should, but that shouldn’t be much of a concern either. Moving from Europe to Canada is a huge step as there are some major differences between the continents not only in style of play but also training. Plus, Hischier has played in Switzerland’s under-18 and under-20 teams this year, adding to the pressure. I’m sure he’ll be fine after another North American year under his belt.

Final Thoughts

Has Hischier surpassed Patrick as this year’s No. 1 pick? Possibly. Hischier has everything you want to see from a top-line centre, and you probably can’t go wrong with him no matter which pick you use on him.

Yet, there are obviously some concerns, most notably his size. Can he translate his game fully to the NHL or will he be limited to a second-line role? At this point, the only thing teams can do is draft him and find out. After all, his skating, hockey sense and skill make him an intriguing prospect.

We often hear this year’s draft class being called ‘weak’, mostly because it doesn’t have a Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews in the first round. Perhaps we are just a little spoiled after seeing four future franchise players (McDavid, Matthews, Jack Eichel, Patrik Laine) burst into the league over the past two years. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no first-round talent to be had.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview

Patrick, Hischier, Gabriel Vilardi and Casey Mittelstadt all have top-line potential. We just have to wait and see who reaches it. Right now, I can only tell you this much: I would love to see Hischier in a Canucks jersey.