CHICAGO — The Devils went with forward Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick in Friday night’s draft, making Hischier the first Swiss-born player ever taken first.
The coin-flip choice between Hischier, who had 38 goals and 48 assists for Halifax of the Quebec League last season, and center Nolan Patrick led to a little mystery as Devils GM Ray Shero made his way to the podium at the United Center.
New Jersey chose the dynamic Hischier over Patrick, who had been ranked as the top draft prospect nearly the entire season. Patrick, who missed time with a sports hernia, had 20 goals and 26 assists in 33 games for Brandon of the Western League.
Patrick went second to the Flyers, adding a pair of potential stars to an already packed Metro Division for the Islanders and Rangers.