Throughout the week, PhiladelphiaFlyers.com will profile the Top Players as ranked by NHL Central Scouting on both the North American and European Skaters lists.
Monday was the #1 overalls (Patrick & Kostin). Today we look at the players chasing them - No. 2 ranked skaters: Nico Hischier (North American) and Elias Pettersson (European).
NICO HISCHIER (Center)
RANK: #2 North American Skater
TEAM: Halifax Mooseheads - QMJHL
BIRTHDATE: January 4, 1999
BIRTHPLACE: Naters, Switzerland
VITALS: 6'1", 176 pounds
First, let's get the pronunciation down. It's NEE-koh Hee-shee-ehr… and he's looking to become the highest drafted Swiss player in NHL History. (Countryman, Nino Niederreiter went 5th overall in 2010 to the Islanders)
Hischier can be considered the biggest riser in this year's draft and many scouts agree that he has tightened the gap with Nolan Patrick for # 1 overall.
Hischier completed his first season of North American Hockey where he led all QMJHL rookies in all three offensive categories with 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in just 57 games.
He added seven points (3g-4a) in six playoff games and won the QMJHL's Rookie of the Year and was named the league's Best Professional Prospect.
He participated in the week-long NHL Combine, interviewing with more than 10 teams (including the Flyers) and during the physical test, he finished tied for the lead in pull-ups (13).
INTERVIEW & TESTING HIGHLIGHTS FROM HISCHIER AT THE COMBINE
Video: Hischier on his combine strengths and weaknesses
Hischier also stood out at the 2017 World Junior Championships for the Swiss - posting four goals and three assists for seven points in five games to lead all NHL Draft Eligible prospects in scoring at the tournament.
The head of NHL Central Scouting, Dan Marr, has this to say about Hischier:
"Hischier is definitely worth the price of admission. He has high skill level, but what's most impressive is the way he competes, his drive and work ethic. He is a player who is first on the forecheck forcing a turnover and when the play transitions, he's the first player back. He's in that category as a special player."
For more on Hischier, the NHL Tonight crew breaks down what makes his style of play so dynamic:
Video: Prospect Profile: Nico Hischier
ELIAS PETTERSSON (Center)
RANK: #2 European Skater
TEAM: Timra - Sweden-2 Division
BIRTHDATE: November 12, 1998
BIRTHPLACE: Ange, Sweden
VITALS: 6'2", 161 pounds
Pettersson was among the European contingent to participate during NHL Combine week in Buffalo, NY.
He spent the entire 2016-17 season with Timra in Sweden's Second Division where he produced nearly a point per-game with 41 points (19g-22a) in 43 contests as an 18-year-old. He finished second on the team in both goals (19) and points (41).
Internationally, he competed with Sweden at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships, appearing in six of the seven games, recording one assist and 11 shots on goal.
He also won a silver medal for Sweden at both the 2016 Under-18 World Championships where he had eight points (1g-7a) in seven games and the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Dan Marr of NHL Central Scouting:
"He is a fast, speedy star. He had a sensational season for Timra in Sweden's Second Division consistently producing offense despite the fact he's playing with and against much older players."
EliteProspects.com describes Petterson as follows:
"Is a complete hockey player with exceptional hockey sense who brings intellect and youthful exuberance to a game that feeds on his kind of exciting athleticism."
Stay tuned on Wednesday for a look at the #3 ranked players on both sides: Casey Mittelstad (North America) and Lias Andersson (Europe).
For everything you need to know about the Flyers Draft, check out DRAFT CENTRAL