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World Junior Championship preview: Switzerland

Ryan Kennedy
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Noah Rod. (Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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World Junior Championship preview: Switzerland

Ryan Kennedy
By:

With so many talented veterans available, Switzerland really needs to make a go of it this time.

Switzerland | Group A | Roster | THN odds to win: 45:1 Someone has got to lose when a Cinderella team makes its mark, and last year Switzerland was the victim of Denmark’s wondrous storyline. Losing to the Danes in a shootout pushed the Swiss down to the relegation round, where they easily fended off Germany, but it wasn’t where they wanted to finish.

This year, the national side returns many of its best players, though Nashville pick Kevin Fiala will not be among them. San Jose first-rounder Timo Meier brings size and scoring punch, while diminutive Denis Malgin, a Florida Panthers pick, has a high amount of skill. With another Sharks pick, Noah Rod, in the mix, Switzerland will have depth. Rod brings different elements up front, namely a physical, agitating style. But he can also put up offense and was a point-per-game player at last year’s WJC. On the back end, big, sturdy Washington Capitals pick Jonas Siegenthaler returns. He will be a focal point for the blueline brigade. Those defensemen will have to be sharp, too, as Switzerland doesn’t have a big-name stopper in the ranks. Gauthier Descloux was the starter last year, but he got clocked. Unless he really ups his game this time around, the Swiss won’t be able to revert to the defense-first strategy that helped them get established several years ago. With so many talented veterans available, Switzerland really needs to make a go of it this time. The first order of business? Revenge on those pesky Danes, who they will meet in the preliminary round. Assuming that goes better this time, the team must prep for a date with a tough quarterfinal opponent, likely Russia or Finland.
WJC-graphic

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World Junior Championship preview: Switzerland