Devils forward Nico Hischier has been skating with the Swiss league team SC Berne since the beginning of August.
In a French article in Switzerland Le Matin, Hischier talks about his training with the club as an invited guest to help him prepare for the NHL season. He isn't the only player from the NHL practicing with the club. Nashville's Roman Josi and Yannick Webber, both also from Switzerland, are skating as well, along with Gaetan Haas, who is signed by the Edmonton Oilers and one of Hischier's good friends.
Hischier says he knows what he's heading into in mid-September with training camp looming and never expects a guaranteed spot just because he was the 2017 first-overall pick. Everyone's stats and testing return to zero when a new season starts, he says, which is why he counts his time with SC Bern so important in his preparation process. He says it especially helps with his pacing on the ice, skating with other professionals, and while he doesn't participate in all drills because Berne does have their own season to prepare for, he spends time after practices on the ice working on his shot.
With the summer winding down, Hischier is taking in every moment with his former club in Switzerland and says "on one hand, it breaks my heart to leave all these guys and the country I love behind, but on the other hand I get to go and take part in the career I love in a place that brings me happiness."
Hischier adds that just because he is entering the final year of his entry-level contract that doesn't mean his attitude will change. He promises he'll work just as hard and the team success will continue to be a priority over individual statistics.
"The important thing," Hischier said, "is to win as a team."
With files from https://www.lematin.ch/sports/chroniques/nico-hischier-passedroit/story/11868358.