The Swiss know this is not their year. When the team has a Nico Hischier or a Nino Niederreiter, they can run with the big dogs at least for a little while, but this group will be a lot more pedestrian – though serviceable.
Up front, the team can trot out decent weapons, including undrafted Axel Simic, Philipp Kurashev (Chicago) and Valentin Nussbaumer (2019 draft). All three played at last year’s tournament, and Kurashev has shown a lot of growth in his game since then, becoming more of a complete player while still producing for the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. Nussbaumer got off to a hot start with the rival Shawinigan Cataractes, though his scoring pace slowed down once opponents returned from NHL camps.
Defenseman Nico Gross (New York Rangers) is set to participate in his third WJC tour...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.