Meet the Devils, Rangers & Sabres First-Round Selections

The Devils, Rangers and Sabres all had picks in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft. Learn more about who they selected.


With the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils selected dynamic Swiss center Nico Hischier.

  • Listed at 6-foot-1 and 178 pounds by, Hischier became the first Swiss player to be taken first overall in the NHL Draft.
  • A left-handed shot, the 18-year-old was a scoring machine for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior League. He tallied 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 57 games.
  • Hischier put up points with Switzerland at the 2017 IIHF World U18 Championships, tallying a goal and five assists in six games.
  • The Naters, Switzerland native won the RDS Cup as the QMJL’s best rookie and the Mike Bossy Trophy as the best pro prospect in the league.

[Fischler: Devils Nab Nico Hischier With First Overall Pick]

What They’re Saying:

“Just because he has a bit of an edge in dynamic ability,” Button said. “The comparison I’ve used for Hischier is Henrik Zetterberg,” – Former NHL GM Craig Button


Looking for center depth after trading Derek Stepan, the Rangers selected Lias Andersson with the seventh pick.

  • Andersson is the son of former Islanders winger, Niklas Andersson.
  • Listed at 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds by, the left-handed shooting forward played in 42 games last season with HV71 Jonkoping. He posted solid numbers, with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 42 games.
  • NHL Central Scouting ranked Andersson as the third-rated European prospect ahead of the 2017 NHL Draft.
  • The Swedish two-way player tallied three goals in seven games at the 2017 IIHL World Junior Championship.

[Press Release: Rangers Select Lias Andersson]

What They’re Saying:

“He’s a creative centreman who can both distribute and finish. Plenty of leadership qualities in this player.” – Jeff Marek, SportsNet

The Blueshirts went with another forward with their final selection of the evening, taking Filip Chytil with the 21st pick overall.

  • Listed at 6-feet-tall and 181 pounds, the 17-year-old Chytil was one of the youngest players to play in the Czech league, skating in 38 games with HC Zlin.
  • He tallied four goals and four assists during the 2016-17 season.
  • Chytil was ranked as the 11th-best European prospect by NHL Central Scouting.

What They’re Saying:

“One of the better Czechs at the Five Nations, Chytil is a strong, two-way center who does all the right things on the ice. That included netting three points in four games for the squad. He plays against men back home right now.” – Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News


The Sabres went for Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey”, selecting Casey Mittelstadt with the eighth pick overall.

  • From Edina, Minnesota, Mittelstadt is listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds by
  • Mittelstadt put up strong numbers with Eden Prairie High – 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) in 25 games.
  • He won a Bronze medal with Team USA at IIHF World Junior Championships
  • NHL Central Scouting ranked Mittlestadt as the third-rated North American prospect in the 2017 NHL Draft.

What They’re Saying:

“An electric offensive presence on the ice, Casey Mittelstadt brings the complete package of speed, skill, and hockey sense. He competes hard with every shift, and has the dynamic puck skills to keep up with his creativity, which is a hallmark of his game.” – Elite Prospects