As we wait with anticipation for the 2020 World Junior Tournament to kick off, we reflect on last year’s results and analyze on the current status of the teams playing.
After the best finish in over a decade, Switzerland is looking to build on last year’s fourth place. Looking to become the ‘Cinderella’ squad of the tournament, the team will be wanting to get started early with a seemingly difficult beginning schedule but are hoping to steal a couple of wins to be able to reach their goal of reaching a medal placement. The team coming into this tournament is the most experienced that the Swiss have seen in a while. Along with a new coach and an experienced team, including players going into their third tournament, Team Swiss is looking the most dangerous they have since their first medal placement in 1998.
Starting off with the players of the 2019 team, the roster is looking stacked with
experienced players. The team sees some of the top players in the NLA, a league growing and rising to the top of European ice hockey, and 10 returning players, such as Valentin Nussbaumer leading the offensive charge and Luca Hollenstein in net, the Swiss players are looking to earn a medal placement this year. In goal, it seems that Luca Hollenstein will be the leading goaltender for the Swiss. Returning for his second tournament, Hollenstein is wanting to show how his experience and growth from the first tournament. He will see the majority of the starts for the team, looking to help the players on the defensive side.
Whilst Hollenstein is looking to keep the puck out of the Swiss team’s net, Valentin Nussbaumer will be looking to help an unexperienced offensive squad be able to compete with the top two teams in their group, Finland and Sweden. Nussbaumer is returning for his third tournament and after his pre-tournament three goals and five points, he is looking to continue leading the team in hopes of reaching their goal.
Switzerland is going into the tournament with a full head of steam as the team with the most experience and are hoping that this edge can inspire to take on Finland and Sweden, two of the top teams in tournaments. Even with a difficult group and some need for people to step up on the offensive side of the puck, Switzerland is looking to make a new record for the team in their World Junior tournament history and are looking to breakout of Group A to make it to a medal placement. Team Swiss is looking to upset the doubters with a strong run in this tournament, and to do that the team is looking to upset some key teams in this tournament. Switzerland is looking to gain the advantage early with a face-off against Kazakhstan on December 26th and gain the momentum and motivation to take on the leading teams of Group A when they face Sweden on December 28th and Finland on December 31st. I have always been a homer when it comes to any tournament that the United States are in, but I believe that I will be rooting and cheering on the Swiss as they look to shock the world against a strong group and make a run for a strong podium spot. We are all hoping for a great tournament and are looking forward to all of the potential out of the players in this tournament.
Team Switzerland’s Round Robin schedule:
-Kazakhstan, December 26th @ 9 am ET/8 am CT
-Sweden, December 28th @ 1 pm ET/12 pm CT
-Slovakia, December 30th @ 1 pm ET/12 pm CT
-Finland, December 31st @ 1 pm ET/12 pm CT
Group A teams:
*() – 2019 Final Standings
Photo credit – Swiss Ice Hockey (Facebook)