The Devils have made a number one selection twice in three years. In 2017 the team selected Nico Hischier and in 2019 they selected Jack Hughes. Whenever a team selects a number one pick there are high expectations for that player to change that team’s culture. It is unclear if Nico Hishier or Jack Hughes will ever live up to those expectations. Next season could determine the future for both Hischeir and Hughes on the Devils.
Nico Hschier is 22 years old and has played in four seasons with the Devils. In his rookie season, he totaled 52 points in a full 82 game season. This not a bad rookie year but every year since his points totals have gone down. In the 2018-2019 season, he totaled 47 points in 69 games played. Then his point totals went down again in the 2019-2020 season where he totaled 36 points. He played better in the 21 games he played last season He had a total of 11 points. Last year he was hurt twice so in the limited games he played he did pretty well. His recent drop-off in point totals could have been affected by the number of games that he has played in. If Hischier wants to prove that he can play like a number one draft pick then he needs to find a way to stay healthy. Clearly, the Devil’s front office has really high expectations for him because they named him captain of the team. Hopefully, next year Hischier proves why he earned the C on his chest.
Jack Hughes is 20 years old and has played in only two professional seasons. He is off to a slower start than Nico Hischier. In Hughes’s rookie season he played in 61 games and had a total of 21 points. Last year he had a total of 31 points in 56 games. At the beginning of the season, it looked like this was going to be a breakout season for Hughes. He started off the season with a four-game point streak. In those four games, he had a total of 6 points. The fans were hoping this was going to turn into something special for Hughes, but he never was able to stay hot. He is still really young so hopefully in a full season next year, he can become more of a consistent offensive player.
Both Hischier and Hughes definitely have the skills to live up to their expectations but eventually, they both have to become more consistent. Nico Hischier needs to find a way to stay healthy and keep himself on the rink and he should be able to put up a lot of points. Jack Hughes needs more time to grow into a more of a consistent player. Also if the team finds better players for them to have more chemistry A good hockey offense realizes having good chemistry. Devils fans probably should just stay patient and realize that in time those players will eventually live up to their number one pick expectations.