Hischier ‘played his way’ into top-six role with Devils

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First overall pick Nico Hischier has continued to impress through the preseason.

His offensive totals certainly stand out. Four goals in four games, including this “tenacious” goal in his debut. He has seven points during the preseason, as well.

It’s not the regular season, but it should provide the Devils and their fans with some optimism heading into next week and for the years ahead, especially given how difficult it’s been for New Jersey to score goals over the past few years.

Additions like Taylor Hall last summer and Marcus Johansson this summer should also help. At No. 1 overall in June, the Devils added another key piece to their future with the selection of Hischier. At age 18, his play this month has stood out to the coaching staff, so much so that, according to reports, he appears to be in line for a top-six role.

“I think he’s played his way and earned his way into that role,” said Devils coach John Hynes, per NorthJersey.com. “We didn’t start him there but he played his way into that. I think he’s done a nice job.”

Not only has Hischier been productive throughout the exhibition schedule, he’s been able to prove himself on special teams, too, while approaching almost 19 minutes of ice time in his second preseason clash last week against Montreal.

“You can just see it. Even at the start of training camp, you could see from practice to practice, he’s just feeling more comfortable and tonight was another great night for us,” Hall said of Hischier following Wednesday’s game, per NJ.com. “Just like our team, he’s got to carry some confidence into the regular season. That was a pretty close to an NHL lineup tonight, and he played very well. That’s huge for our team.”