They did it. They actually did it. The New Jersey Devils - yes, the very same franchise that outsiders love to blindly dismiss as "boring" - did what was once considered unthinkable. The bucked the wisdom that seemed a little too conventional. They looked a prototypical two-way center up and down, and decided the future pro with the excessively punchable face and the brittle bone structure (that damning scouting part was brought to you by the insufferability of the city he now plays in) wasn't their type. They took a gamble on the highest of risers whose undeniably shorter resume did a better job jumping off the page. I was pretty sure that's exactly what they were going to do, but - somehow - it still seems surreal given their history.
The New Jersey Devils didn't just go with the more exciting, dynamic prospect, but they also managed to start fulfilling a creativity quota that was sorely lacking. When building a team the wise decision isn't always the one that's going to be more successful in having the fans at the edge of their seats, but it is when your team is painfully porous offensively that they are more likely to have their fans standing hopelessly at the edge of a cliff. Nolan Patrick might give New Jersey nightmares for the next decade, and Nico Hischier's game might end up having more holes than his homeland's most infamous diary product. That's the risk you take when picking between two players who were in a dead heat while turning the final corner. The reward - in this case - could be providing a blank canvas to a player who has the rare talent, endless drive, and room to grow into the most dangerous, versatile Swiss product since the army knife.
The kid just "loves to hockey" (as seen below in his charmingly broken English, not mine) and Devils fans should be chomping at the bit to love watching him love hockey because he is already electrifyingly good at most facets of it...
It's the road less traveled by this organization, and fans shouldn't hesitate to enjoy what should be a hell of ride...