Draft Retrospective: Nico Hischier's evolution into one of the NHL's best two-way centres
The New Jersey Devils faced a murderers' row of the NHL's top centres last week, lining up against Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Tage Thompson back-to-back-to-back in a three-game set. They could have taken their foot off the gas, let up the aggression, and prioritized containment ahead of scoring, but they knew that wasn't necessary. They had Nico Hischier.
Devils head coach Lindy Ruff built his gameplan accordingly, hard-matching the Swiss centre against each of them at 5-on-5 and on the penalty kill. The result? The Devils held Matthews, McDavid, and Thompson to one point in a combined 61:35 of ice time.
Hischier stifled their creativity, shut down their rushes, and all but erased them from the scoresheet, limiting that group of All-Stars to a power play assist on a shot that defle
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