The New Jersey Devils today named center Nico Hischier the 12th captain in team history. The announcement was made by Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald, in conjunction with Head Coach Lindy Ruff.
Hischier, Ruff and Fitzgerald will all be available during New Jersey’s post-game media video conference this afternoon.
At 22 years and 47 days old, he is the youngest captain currently in the NHL and the second youngest in New Jersey history (Kirk Muller, 21 years and 243 days old; both Muller and Hischier were handed the captaincy at the start of their fourth NHL season). Hischier also becomes just the second current Swiss-born captain in the League joining Roman Josi (Nashville). Hischier will make his season debut this afternoon versus Buffalo after missing the club’s first 11 games with a leg injury.
Hischier, 22, is in his fourth season with the Devils’ organization. He has played 209 regular-season games, scoring 51 goals, 84 assists for 135 points, and 62 penalty minutes. He has finished in the top-three in team scoring in each of his three years with the club. The Brig, Switzerland native completed his third full NHL season in 2019-20, scoring 14 goals and 22 assists in 58 games, including his first shorthanded goal. He represented the Devils at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, scoring two goals and one assist for the Metropolitan Division. On October 18, 2019, the club signed Hischier to a seven-year contract extension, with an average annual value of $7,250,000, through the 2026-27 season.
He skated in 69 regular-season games in 2018-19, scoring 17 goals and a team-high 30 assists for 47 points with 24 penalty minutes. He also set a career-high scoring three game-winning goals. He was the tenth youngest skater in the League (min. 25 games) in his second year.
During his rookie season, Hischier was the youngest NHL regular, appearing in all 82 games and hit the 20-goal mark. His first career NHL goal came on Oct. 19, 2017 at Ottawa and he led all European-born rookies with 52 points. On February 19, 2018, he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week, after registering seven points, with four goals and three assists in four games. He was also a plus-six in the four games. The 6-1, 180lb., forward made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut on April 12, 2018, playing in all five ECQF games against Tampa Bay where he tallied one goal.
Internationally, Hischier has represented Switzerland in multiple international competitions, including two World Junior Championships in 2016 and 2017. In 11 games played on the World Junior Championship stage, he posted four goals and five assists for nine points. He most recently competed in the 2019 IIHF World Championship held in Slovakia, ranking first on the team in points, with nine. He finished the tournament with four goals and five assists and a +3 rating.
Hischier was selected first overall by New Jersey at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, which marked the first time (second overall) the Devils had held the number one slot. He is the only Swiss-born player to be selected with the top pick in NHL history. In 2016-17 with Halifax (QMJHL), Hischier led all rookies with 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 57 regular-season games and added three goals and four assists in six QMJHL playoff contests. He was named CHL and QMJHL Rookie of the Year, QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year, a member of the QMJHL All-Rookie Team, and was awarded with the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL’s Best Professional Prospect. During Day 2 of the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, Hischier was named the 2017 recipient of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, which is given to the candidate who best exemplifies the commitment to excellence through strength and character, competitiveness and athleticism.
Hischier serves as the 12th captain in New Jersey Devils history following Andy Greene (Oct. 9, 2015 – Feb. 16, 2020), Bryce Salvador (Jan. 17, 2013 through 2014-15), Zach Parise (Oct. 5, 2011 through 2011-12), Jamie Langenbrunner (Dec. 5, 2007 – Jan. 7, 2011), Patrik Elias (Oct. 5, 2006 through 2006-07), Scott Niedermayer (Jan. 9, 2004 – Aug. 4, 2005), Scott Stevens (Sept. 24, 1992 – Sept. 6, 2005), Bruce Driver (Oct. 5, 1991 – Sept. 24, 1992), Kirk Muller (June 18, 1987 – Sept. 20, 1991), Mel Bridgman (Jan. 9, 1984 – Mar. 9, 1987) and Don Lever (1982-83 through Jan. 9, 1984).