Nico Hischier, captain of the New Jersey Devils is optimistic about the future. Three big reinforcements arrived at the club, which will be an additional motivation for Hischier and the team. "Just looking at the roster right now, we feel way more comfortable.
We feel confident," Hischier said for NHL.com "Those guys coming in definitely can help us with their game style, with their experience, and that's something we need. We did this this summer, and that's why the excitement is there to get back to work and see where we're at."
Experienced Ondrej Palat will be the new team player. Much is expected of him. "Exactly that, his winning experience. He's been playing in Tampa for a while and winning two Cups, last year in the Final, he knows what it takes.
We're a young group and we've got to see what he does. He definitely can help us out a lot because if you can take things out from his experience, the best case is we're going to be that Tampa team at some point.
That's definitely our goal and definitely a good guy to have on our side now."
Ondrej Palat's impact
NHL.com reporters asked what Palat can bring on the ice. "That's the other thing as well with him.
He plays the right way. He plays hard and he's tough to play against and he can score and be offensively productive. That's all you basically can ask from a teammate, to be an impact player, to have the grit and be really competitive."
The club has missed the playoffs in the last four years. "Yeah, really challenging and I put a lot of pressure on myself as well. I want to help the team to get there, and I know I can't do it by myself. But what we're building in Jersey, I'm excited for it.
We've got great guys in there and I'm excited for the new guys coming in and just looking forward to getting going again. I learned also it's not easy to make those playoffs. My first year, you go with the flow, you don't really think too much.
And the last four years showed me, no, it's definitely not easy to win consistently in that league." Hischier is satisfied with the performance of the previous season. "Personally, I'm happy about my year.
I was able to do what I tried to do for the team. But on the other hand, just hearing that, me saying, 'I'm happy with my year,' it doesn't really matter for me. I would be happier if we would've made the playoffs. So it's always hard to say I'm happy with a year when you're not making the playoffs."