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Hischier has fan in Federer

Devils forward gets kudos from tennis legend, countryman

NHL.com @NHL

New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, is a fan of countryman Roger Federer, one of the world's top tennis players. It appears the feeling is mutual.

Federer, playing at the U.S. Open in New York, was asked about Hischier after his five-set, second-round victory against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on Thursday.

"We're very happy in Switzerland that we have such a great hockey player in the starting blocks who is hopefully going to be a great, great player," Federer said. "Hope he stays healthy. I'm only hearing great things about him. He's a good guy. Unbelievably talented. People predict a great future ahead of him."

Hischier, 18, was the first Switzerland-born player to be picked first in the NHL Draft. He was happy to hear Federer's feelings about him.

Video: How Nico Hischier could make the Top 20 Centers list

"It's pretty special when you hear words like this from Roger," he said. "Since a little guy, I was cheering on Roger and now he says something like that about me, that's special. I hope I will be able to see him play soon."

Federer, 36, also said if Hischier wants to get in touch with him, he'd pass along any advice he could. Federer is the all-time leader with 19 Grand Slam men's singles championships.

"If he has any questions, I'm always happy to help," Federer said. "I'm happy he can be around here in New York. Amazing place. Not far from Switzerland, to be honest. … I wish him all the very best. Haven't met him yet. I hope to meet him someday."

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