NEWARK, N.J. -- Nico Hischier is prepared for the challenges that accompany any rookie hoping to make his mark in the NHL.
The first step in that process for Hischier, chosen No. 1 in the 2017 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, is development camp this week. The 6-foot-1, 176-pound left-shot is looking to make a good first impression.
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If Hischier is NHL-ready, which is the prevailing opinion, does he have the body capable of withstanding the workload required of an NHL center? Or do the Devils instead start him out on the wing alongside either Travis Zajac or Adam Henrique?
There's no question Hischier has the speed, skill set and hockey sense needed to play at the next level, but it ultimately will be up to him to prove he can do it at training camp and during preseason games in September.
"It's not that I can't play wing, but it's just that I feel I have more impact as a center," Hischier said Tuesday. "I can play my game in the middle better because center has more impact in the defensive zone. I really want to perfect my D-zone game first, so I have more impact as a center than as a wing. At center, you have more space to maneuver."
Being able to maneuver is something Hischier does well. He grew up in Switzerland idolizing former NHL player Pavel Datsyuk, who was nicknamed the Magic Man for his playmaking ability and scoring touch around the net. Hischier had 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games with Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, his first in North America.
Video: Looking at the Devils' offseason and Nico Hischier
The Devils chose Hischier ahead of center Nolan Patrick (6-2, 198) of Brandon in the Western Hockey League. Patrick, the only player many believed would have a chance to be selected ahead of Hischier, was picked second by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Here are 10 things you might not know about Hischier:
1. The NHL player he is most looking forward to playing against is Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, also from Switzerland.
2. He received well over 300 text messages right after he was selected No. 1 by the Devils.
3. The thing that motivates him most: "I really like close games and I like things that seem impossible to achieve. I'm a guy who never gives up, plays hard and tries to help my team until the end."
4. His favorite movie is "Happy Gilmore."
5. His favorite TV show is "Prison Break."
6. How he deals with pressure: "I try not to listen and just focus on the hockey, just having fun. That's how I do it."
7. What he learned in his one season in the QMJHL: "I think I learned the importance of work ethic. You have to work even harder. I know you have to work hard at any level, but there's smaller ice in North America, so those little details are important. Before I got to Halifax and was playing for Bern in National League A in Switzerland, one player told me that when I get to North America, don't get stuck in the corners, try and keep my feet moving because that was the key on the smaller ice. So I try to spin away a lot."
8. His favorite activities away from hockey are tennis and beach volleyball. "I think I'm going to like going to the Jersey shore," he said.
9. His favorite music before a game is rap.
10. What makes him mad: "I think everyone gets emotional on the ice, but what's important is controlling that emotion. You can't get too angry because it will affect your game; I don't like losing, so that's something that gets me a little angry. But, again, it's all about controlling it."