2019 World Junior Hockey Championship: Team Switzerland preview & roster

The Swiss hope to win a medal for the first time ever this year in British Columbia.

Switzerland was once a bubble team for the World Junior Hockey Championship, but about 10 years ago they started capitalizing on their careful, smart style of play. While they still have some down years, their ability to turn out the odd offensive star and their quality domestic league has led them to being a solid, if not spectacular, performer on the international stage.

Team Switzerland final roster

#Player PositionLeagueCurrent team (NHL)
30Luca HollentsteinGNLBEVZ Academy
29Akira SchmidGUSHLOmaha Lancers (NJD)
1Gianluca ZaettaGNLBEVZ Academy
26David Aebischer DQMJHLGatineau Olympique
19Davyd BarandunDNLBHCB Ticino Rockets
21Tim BerniDNLAZSC Lions (CBJ)
7Gianluca BurgerDNLBGC Küsnacht Lions
16Nico GrossDOHLOshawa Generals (NYR)
4Simon le CoultreDQMJHLMoncton Wildcats
8Janis Jérôme MoserDQMJHLEHC Biel-Bienne
10Yannick BrüschweilerFNLBGC Küsnacht Lions
22Nando EggenbergerFOHLOshawa Generals
12Jeremi GerberFElite Jr. ABern U20
23Philipp KurashevFQMJHLQuebec Remparts (CHI)
6Marco LehmannFNLBEHC Kloten
11Sven LeuenbergerFNLAEVZ Academy
9Nicolas MüllerFSuperElitModo J20
18Valentin NussbaumerFQMJHLShawinigan Cataractes
14Sandro SchmidFSuperElitMalmo Redhawks J20
13Justin SigristFNLBGC Küsnacht Lions
20Ramon TannerFElite Jr. ABiel-Bienne U20
15Matthew VerboonFBCHLSalmon Arm Silverbacks
17Lucas WyssFNLBSC Langenthal


Switzerland is an older team, and with a few exceptions, this is an older players’ tournament. They will have no first-time draft-eligible players, so there is no chance for a Nino Niederreiter or Kevin Fiala to make a name for himself on the world stage. The Swiss will have some players who are familiar with the style that will be played in British Columbia as they have 13 players who play in North America.

One of those players is Washington Capitals defence prospectTobias Geisser. Geisser is an anomaly, as he already plays in the AHL for the Hershey Bears. After 17 games he has one assist, and looking at his stats in previous seasons, he is not an offensive contributor. However, if Switzerland continues to play their traditional trap style of play, Geisser should be a key player for them.

Their forwards are hard to get a read on as they are either around point-per-game producers in the CHL or they are playing professionally in Europe. However, there is no player who was dominant for them last year, and this year they have no younger players coming in to help spark them. That said, they do have Nando Eggenberger, who wins the award for the best name in the tournament.


The Swiss team seems to lack a difference-maker who can take over a game and put them over the top when they play against teams like Canada and Russia. However, Switzerland should be able to beat Denmark, and possibly challenge the Czech Republic as well. Even without that game-breaker, the Swiss have always been a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, and this year should be no different.

Another area of concern is their goaltending. They only have one goalie with a save percentage over .900, and that at just .905. If the Swiss are going to win with a shutdown style, their goalies will have to come through.

They also have a David Aebischer, and that should concern any Habs fan.


Switzerland’s place depends on their goaltending. If they get the performances they need to win low-scoring games, they should be able to move on to the elimination round. Russia is always a wild card in international tournaments and this year is no different. That said, Switzerland’s key game will be their opening contest against the Czech Republic. If they can manage to win that, they will have set themselves up nicely for the rest of the tournament.

If they get through to the medal round, they always have the potential to win a medal. Switzerland is like a box of chocolates when it comes to international hockey: you never know what you’re going to get. But it will almost always be something good.

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