CHICAGO — The New Jersey Devils have selected center Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft.
The 18-year-old Hischier is the highest drafted Swiss player in the NHL history. He had 38 goals and 86 points in 57 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season. He spent the previous two seasons in the Swiss pro league, where he was coached by current Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher.
Hischier fits in nicely with general manager Ray Shero’s desire to put a faster team on the ice. New Jersey is coming off its worst season in nearly three decades, finishing with a 28-40-14 record.
But Hischier is listed at 6-foot-2 and 179 pounds, and will need to put on more muscle to succeed in the NHL.
The draft is being held in Chicago for the first time (see full story).
Capitals: Oshie signs 8-year, $46 million extension
CHICAGO — The Washington Capitals have re-signed right winger T.J. Oshie to a $46 million, eight-year contract.
Oshie will count $5.75 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season.
General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Friday just before the start of the NHL draft. Oshie was set to be an unrestricted free agent.
The 30-year-old forward tied Alex Ovechkin for the team lead with 33 goals last season. That was a career high, as he has 56 points despite playing only 68 games.
In 591 NHL games with St. Louis and Washington, Oshie has 169 goals and 248 assists for 417 points (see full story).
Blackhawks: Team continues overhaul with trade
CHICAGO — General manager Stan Bowman promised changes were coming after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Boy, he wasn’t kidding.
Chicago re-acquired Brandon Saad and parted with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin in a pair of surprising trades Friday, giving the Blackhawks a younger look and more cost certainty for their roster.
“This is a day of highs and lows,” Bowman said. “There’s some tougher conversations, but there’s also, we’re moving ahead, we’re excited about what we have coming in.”
The Blackhawks won the Central Division last season with a 50-23-9 record, finishing with the most points in the Western Conference. But they were swept by Nashville in the opening series, managing just three goals in 13 periods in an embarrassing performance for a team with three championships since 2010.
Bowman angrily called it a complete failure, and then overhauled coach Joel Quenneville’s staff and replaced the coach of the team’s top minor league affiliate.
Turns out he was just getting started.
Bowman traded forwards Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago’s sixth-round selection in this weekend’s NHL draft to Columbus for Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick next year. The deal was announced less than an hour after Hjalmarsson was traded to Arizona for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin (see full story).
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