ST. LOUIS, MO - For Nico Hischier, he'll always remember his first NHL All-Star Game.
Video: ALL-STAR | Nico Hischier
The Devils young, rising star forward means so much more to the New Jersey organization than his 12-goal, 17-assist stat line. He's quickly becoming one of the team's most beloved leaders in the locker room and most dependable two-way player on the ice. He provides a great example of what the Devils want their roster to aspire to play like and - oh, by the way, he only turned 21 on January 4.
But the impact of Hischier's attendance in St. Louis reaches far beyond Newark. The country of Switzerland can be proud to have a young, promising player to represent them on the big stage.
"Growing up [in Switzerland], you watch these kind of events," said Hischier. "So being part of it is something special. I always say I always say I'm living my dream playing in the NHL and this is kind of like a dessert. Not everybody gets a chance to experience that. I've jut got to enjoy it. That's all I can say."
Video: ALL STAR | Roman Josi
Hischier spent some time on Thursday night during NHL All-Star media day hanging out with fellow Swiss-born NHL star Roman Josi. The Nashville Predators defenseman has watched Hischier's rise with much excitement.
"He's such a smart player," said Josi. "He's so skilled and he's one of those guys who does everything well. And I think, for his age, he's way beyond his age with this maturity. He's a great player."
Josi is from Bern, while Hischier is from Brig, but on Thursday they were just two Swiss brothers among a sea of NHL elite.
"It's awesome," said Josi. "We were just talking about it. A couple of years ago, there was only one player in the NHL, and now we have two at the All-Star Game. And there are a lot of players that have made it to the NHL. And, obviously, Nico is a special talent and he's an awesome kid too. So it's pretty cool that we can both be here."
But while Hischier is excited to be representing Switzerland, he had a big smile on his face whenever he mentioned representing New Jersey as well.
"To be here is something special and to represent Jersey means a lot, so it should be fun and I'm going to enjoy it for sure."
Hischier will take part in the accuracy shooting event during the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday night and then the game on Saturday.