"I hope I go second," Patrick said.
And he did, thanks to the Flyers.
It was considered a coin flip between the heavily hyped centers for the No. 1 slot. Patrick was ranked first and Hischier second in NHL Central Scouting's final North American prospect rankings.
When the Devils' coin landed, it was in Hischier's favor. He is the first Swiss player to be picked first.
"It wasn't a rivalry between us at all," said Patrick, a Winnipeg, Manitoba, native. "I'm really happy for him, and you could tell how happy his family was for him. So it's cool to see the first Swiss ever to go on (first)."
Before Hischier, the highest Swiss-born player taken was Nino Niederreiter, who went fifth in 2010.
Hischier hugged his mother after the announcement, and his entire family was present for the big moment..
"This morning, I was fine," Hischier said. "Then as soon as I stepped here in the ice rink, my pulse went up and stayed there.
"It was a lot of emotion, but there are no words to describe this feeling."
To round out the top five, Miro Heiskanen went to the Stars, Cale Makar to the Avalanche and Elias Pettersson to the Canucks.
Special emcees: It all started with a little "Chelsea Dagger."
"You know, I think there's a better way to do this," Bowman said.
The surprise guests announced the selection of Henri Jokiharju, a Finnish defenseman. The Blackhawks selected Toews third overall in 2006 and Kane with the first overall pick the next year.
Warm welcome back: Panthers general manager Dale Tallon received an ovation from the United Center fans when he took the stage to announce Florida's first-round selection.
"Right back at you," Tallon told the crowd before selecting right wing Owen Tippett at No. 10.
Tallon, 66, was a Hawks defenseman for five of his 10 NHL seasons, then was a radio and TV analyst for the organization for 16 years before joining the front office in 1998 as director of player personnel. He took over as GM in 2005 and held the position for five years before being demoted to senior adviser. He left for the Panthers in May 2010.
Facility update: Progress has been made on the Blackhawks' new practice facility, which will double as a community ice arena with one rink for the team and another for the public. Work should be completed this winter on the 125,000-square foot complex located at West Jackson Boulevard and South Wood Street.
"This is a place that it seems like we'll all love coming to," Kane said.
One-timers: The Capitals re-signed RW T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46 million contract. ... The Blues acquired F Brayden Schenn from the Flyers for F Jori Lehtera, a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 first-round pick. ... The Rangers traded C Derek Stepan and G Antti Raanta to the Coyotes for D Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh pick. ... The Blue Jackets got C Jordan Schroeder from the Wild for minor-league C Dante Salituro. ... F Patrick Eaves agreed to a three-year, $9.45 million contract to stay with the Ducks. ... The Kings bought out the final year of D Matt Greene's contract.
Chicago Tribune reporter Shannon Ryan and Tribune news services contributed.