NHL Draft 2017: Friday was not the first time top pick Nico Hischier slipped on a Devils sweater | NHL Sport News

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NHL Draft 2017: Friday was not the first time top pick Nico Hischier slipped on a Devils sweater | NHL Sport News

CHICAGO — When Nico Hischier climbed on stage and slipped the New Jersey Devils jersey on after being selected first overall in Friday’s NHL Draft, it was not the first time the 18-year-old Swiss center wore the distinctive red Devils sweater.

“I was really young, maybe ten, playing in a tournament in Switzerland and you wear the jersey of an NHL team, it’s always random,” Hischier explained to reporters at the United Center. “That year  we were the New Jersey Devils. So, yeah, it’s really special now.”

Hischier had no idea he would be the top pick in the draft. The Devils did not give him a heads up, so Hischier and Nolan Patrick, who wound up going second overall to the Philadelphia Flyers, found out at the same moment which one of them was ending up in New Jersey.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Hischier. “For a long time, I was speechless. I was just happy. I hugged my mom first, and I think she was a little bit crying, too. It was a lot of emotion, but I don’t have the words to describe it.”

And what was Patrick’s reaction upon hearing he was not the first overall pick in this year’s draft?

“Hope I go second,” Patrick deadpanned.

Though he was the front runner most of the season to be selected first, Patrick claimed that he was not angry in the least slotting in behind Hischier at the end.

“I wasn’t rattled,” said Patrick. “I was happy for him, he’s an awesome guy. We’ve had a really good friendship this little last bit here. I’m really happy for him.”

MORE: NHL draft 2017: list of picks, results for Rounds 1-7

The pair will see a lot more of each other in the coming years as Metropolitan Division rivals, an opportunity for fans of both teams to regularly gauge who got the better player Friday.

“Now both of need to start on making the NHL, that’s both our goal,” concluded Patrick.

NHL Draft 2017: Friday was not the first time top pick Nico Hischier slipped on a Devils sweater | NHL Sport News

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NHL Draft 2017: Friday was not the first time top pick Nico Hischier slipped on a Devils sweater | NHL Sport News

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