Ray Shero wasn’t opposed to moving down from the No. 1 spot at the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held June 23-24 at United Center in Chicago. But there was one caveat.
"Unless I was assured of getting this player," said Shero, general manager for the New Jersey Devils, "I really had no interest in trading down."
That player is Nico Hischier, ranked the second-best North American skater eligible for this year’s draft according to NHL Central Scouting.
After months of debate as to whether Hischier or the only player ahead of him on the North American skater list, Nolan Patrick, would be selected with the top pick, Shero took the safest route to ensure the 6-foot-2, 179-pound, left-shooting center became a Devil: He kept the first overall pick, and nabbed him, making Hischier the highest-drafted Swiss-born player in NHL history.