IQ: Hischier’s hockey sense is his greatest asset. He simply knows where to be, supporting his defensemen down low and providing quality outlets for his wingers on the attack. He also recognizes passing lanes quickly and understands when to drive the net rather than looking for the pretty play. He has the smarts you need at the center position.
Compete Level: Though he doesn’t boast the sturdiest build, he battles hard in every phase of the game. He’ll sacrifice his body defensively, crash the net offensively and dig in along the boards to either extend the attack or transition from defense to offense. He makes opponents work across all 200 feet of the ice.
Reliable: He isn’t quite a shutdown forward, but he can hold his own defensively through his work rate and sound positioning. As such, coaches can feel comfortable deploying him in any situation. He’s also improved dramatically at the dot in recent years.
Strength: He’s 6’1” and weighs only 175 pounds. Given his usage, that’s an issue. Try as he might, he still finds himself outmatched against larger opponents in the trenches. A bit more strength and mass would help him protect the puck more effectively as well.
Durability: Still in his early 20s, Hischier has already missed considerable time. Hopefully, this is merely bad luck and not a pattern because he can’t afford to lose a step considering how heavily he’s relied upon as a steadying three-zone presence. Again, putting on some muscle could help in this regard.