clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2019 World Junior Hockey Championship: Team Switzerland preview & roster

New, comments

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

Switzerland v Canada: Quarterfinal - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

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 Position League Current team (NHL)
# Player Position League Current team (NHL)
30 Luca Hollentstein G NLB EVZ Academy
29 Akira Schmid G USHL Omaha Lancers (NJD)
1 Gianluca Zaetta G NLB EVZ Academy
26 David Aebischer D QMJHL Gatineau Olympique
19 Davyd Barandun D NLB HCB Ticino Rockets
21 Tim Berni D NLA ZSC Lions (CBJ)
7 Gianluca Burger D NLB GC Küsnacht Lions
16 Nico Gross D OHL Oshawa Generals (NYR)
4 Simon le Coultre D QMJHL Moncton Wildcats
8 Janis Jérôme Moser D QMJHL EHC Biel-Bienne
10 Yannick Brüschweiler F NLB GC Küsnacht Lions
22 Nando Eggenberger F OHL Oshawa Generals
12 Jeremi Gerber F Elite Jr. A Bern U20
23 Philipp Kurashev F QMJHL Quebec Remparts (CHI)
6 Marco Lehmann F NLB EHC Kloten
11 Sven Leuenberger F NLA EVZ Academy
9 Nicolas Müller F SuperElit Modo J20
18 Valentin Nussbaumer F QMJHL Shawinigan Cataractes
14 Sandro Schmid F SuperElit Malmo Redhawks J20
13 Justin Sigrist F NLB GC Küsnacht Lions
20 Ramon Tanner F Elite Jr. A Biel-Bienne U20
15 Matthew Verboon F BCHL Salmon Arm Silverbacks
17 Lucas Wyss F NLB SC Langenthal

Strengths

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.

Weaknesses

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.

X-Factor

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.