Nico Hischier, the 2017 Entry Draft’s first overall pick, is reportedly nearing a long-term extension with the Devils.

Hischier, 20, is closing in on a seven-year deal worth an average annual value of $7.25 million per season, the contract details were first reported by Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic. The extension would keep the center with the Devils until 2027.

In 157 games, the first-ever Swiss-born first overall pick, has scored 101 points. He is the current leader in games played, goals, assists and points among his draft class–29 points ahead of Canucks forward, Elias Pettersson, who has played one less season than Hischier.

The Devils, who most recently won the 2019 Draft Lottery to select Jack Hughes, won their first draft lottery since coming to New Jersey in 2017, earning the right to decide between Hischier and then-Brandon Wheat King center, Nolan Patrick. It was part of a memorable draft lottery that saw the Devils (8.5 percent), Flyers (2.4) and Stars (6.4) all jump up to win top-three picks, surpassing Colorado, Vancouver and expansion-Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas would go on to select blueliner, Miro Heiskanen with the third pick.

Having Hischier signed long-term in mid-October is only part of the weight GM Ray Shero has taken off his shoulders. Other RFA’s needing extensions include Jesper Bratt and Mackenzie Blackwood. John Hayden and Mirco Mueller are also arbitration-eligible restricted free agents.

Of course the biggest name for the Devils is 2017-18 league MVP, Taylor Hall. Hall, selected first overall by the Oilers in 2010 prior to coming to New Jersey via trade, is in the final season of his 7-year, $42 million contract. Shero and Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris met prior to the regular season to begin discussing a contract extension. On TSN’s Insider Trading last month, Darren Dreger described the current state of talks.

“It sounds like they’re making some traction here,” he said. “He (Hall) loved the way he was treated by the Devils organization. Very professional from start to finish. He likes what Shero has done in the changes to the lineup. It’s one of those situations where it could happen sooner than later. And that’s saying a lot considering he’s in the final year of his contract.

About The Author

Mad about being born into a Mets household during the Yankees dynasty, Neal McHale turned to something different after the 2000 World Series. He got NHL 2001 as a gift and it helped pioneer a hockey love affair. His first sportswriting gig was covering the historically-gritty Big East Conference. Since 2015, he's been with Inside Hockey covering the NHL.

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