The New Jersey Devils have signed center Nico Hischier to a maximum three-year, entry-level contract, according to the Devils’ official team website.
The Devils selected Hischier with the first overall pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The 18-year-old became the only Swiss player to be drafted with the top overall selection in the history of the league.
Hischier spent the 2016-17 campaign playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, suiting up for the Halifax Mooseheads in 57 games. He put forth a monstrous performance, scoring 38 goals while dishing out 48 assists. Additionally, he registered a plus-20 plus-minus stat.
He began his hockey career playing for Schlittschuh Club Bern Under-20 club during the 2014-15 season, managing one goal and one assist in seven contests.
He played for the team again the following season; he was much more productive and saw an increase in playing time, taking the ice 18 games and finding the back of the net 11 times while dishing out 17 assists.
Then, in 2015-16, he was promoted from the Under-20 club to Schlittschuh Club Bern’s NLA squad, where he played sparingly in 15 games and finished with just one goal.
Hischier also played with EHC Visp that season, recording a goal and an assist in seven contests.
This marked the first time New Jersey had the No. 1 overall draft pick in the history of its franchise.
The Devils have not made the playoffs since they lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Los Angeles Kings five years ago. Their five-year streak without a postseason appearance is the team’s longest since 1987, when they concluded a nine-year playoff drought.