I am the newest addition to the staff here at Hockey’s Future. I hope you enjoy my stories as they will all be related to Swiss ice hockey.
I will bring you player profiles of all the players in the Swiss leagues. I’m also keeping my eye on the German DEL, as there are a lot of ex-NHLers.
In my first article you will find 4 player profiles.
Laurent Müller, C, ZSC Lions
CBS-Rank: not ranked
Born: 28th May 1978; 6’2”, 194lbs.
14G-17A-31P in 30 games; 20 PM; Plus-44, Minus-19, Total Plus-25;
Finally this season Laurent has let his talent shine. After a few disappointing seasons in Bern (only 12 points in three seasons), he is now playing in Zurich. He has now found the self-confidence he needs to be successful, and he is considered one of the best scorers on his team. In the last two weeks he scored two over-time goals, both in the last minute.
He wins a lot of face-offs and is not afraid to hit. Sometimes he is too involved in the play to skate back into his own zone, which the opponents use to create some goal scoring opportunities on occasion. Another note is that he is the team leader in the plus/minus stat on his team. Laurent is playing on Zurich’s better penalty killing unit, which indicates that his defensive skills aren’t that bad.
He works good in the offensive crease, and allows his teammates to get easy scoring opportunities. He can pass the puck in all ways, and is very creative (no look passes, long passes, etc…)
Ok, he is over-aged for the draft, but he is a leader here in the Swiss league. A leader on a very experienced team. I was surprisaed that he has not been drafed in the last few years. It’s not the last year NHL teams have a chance to draft Laurent, but next year as he gets some more exposure, look for a few NHL teams to take notice.
Sebastien Reuille, RW, EHC Kloten
CBS-Rank: Europe 57th
Born: 22nd June 1981; 6’1”, 163lbs.
3G-3A-6P in 21 games (most of the games with low ice time); no PM; Plus-7, Minus-9, Total Minus-2;
Sebastien has a quick and hard slap-shot. He has a very low and accurate shot. Shots like his, the goalies seldom save without giving up a chance on a rebound.
He can check hard, but doesn’t like to hit he told me. He said he must do it, cause he would lose his roster spot if he wouldn’t play at the boards. He would much rather dribble the puck and pass it than hit the boards, but Reuille is a team player.
For the style he wants to play, his puck control must improve a lot. He is a productive player, and Sebastien doesn’t want to leave the ice with at least making one good play.
He has an eye for the rebound and works well in the crease. With more ice-time he will get some repetition, which is really what he needs. He is playing better and better every game, and is giving the coach no other option but to give him more ice time. He also profits a lot on teh fact that his teams first and second line have been struggling as of late.
Sebastien said: “Sure it is my dream to play in the “Big League”, but I am working hard here, so I don’t have the time to dream too much.” He knows that he has to improve a lot, and get heavier. If he does both, look for him be drafted this or even next year.
Sebastien will not be drafted before the last round. If no team drafts him, he will get another chance in 2000.
Adrian Wichser, C / RW, EHC Kloten, drafted by Florida in the 9th round 1998
Born: 18th March 1980; 6’0”, 179lbs.
9G-12A-21P in 34 games; 8PM; Plus-26, Minus-23, Total Plus-3;
Florida invited Adrian to their training camp before this season, but he didn’t show up. Adrian said, that he didn’t want to miss the start of the Swiss season and that he needed to focus on his job in Kloten. Florida will invite him again this coming year and Adrian will take part then.
Adrian is very fast, and has a good eye in the defensive zone. His passing skills must improve a lot. He never gives up the puck and plays good in the corners. Adrian has a very hard and a accurate wrist-shot as well.
On the downside, Adrien misses too many good opportunities to score. He does play in all situations, but is playing too soft (8PM in 34 games).
He can and will improve a lot as he matures, and he should follow in teh footsteps of Michel Riesen, by playing in the minors.
Julien Vauclair, LD, HC Lugano, drafted in 3rd round (74th overall) 1998 by Ottawa
Born: 02. Oct. 1979; 6’1/2’’; 194 lbs.
0G-2A-2P in 32 Games; 6PM; Plus-9
First of all Julien is doing what his coach orders. He is playing steady and very defensively thus far into the season. He only goes deep into the offensive zone, if it’s necessary by all the means. Julien is playing with a lot of discipline, which doesn’t mean that he doesn’t play hard. In a game against Lugano’s biggest rival Ambri, he had an amazing fight with Montreal prospect Mattia Baldi. It was one of the best fights I have ever seen by that young players on Swiss ice.
4 of his 6 penalty minutes come out of this fight. The low penalty minutes show that he doesn’t need to hook and hold his opponents.
Julien can play long shifts without losing his concentration. He blocks the opponents very well so he doesn’t give up a lot of goal chances. He can hold his speed over long distances, but must improve his quick sprint. He also must check harder and has to get more mobile. Julien is a very solid player, who could become a team leader.
The Ottawa GM is expecting to add Julien to the Senators somewhere in 2000/01. I’m sure, if Julien goes his way and works seriously, he will be playing in the NHL by then. I would not be surprised if he would wear an “A” or “C” after having a few years of NHL experience.
Our Ottawa correspondent writes on Julien that he is playing similar to Janne Laukannen. Yes, Julien is a bit like Laukannen, but with less shots and more defensive orriented.
Julien is the best Swiss NHL-prospect at the moment. His play is a lot more convincing, than Michel Riesen’s was last season.
This was my first Swiss prospect report. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to all the reader’s reactions. If you have any questions about Swiss icehockey, send them over to me and I will try to answer all of them.
The next Swiss profiles will follow as soon as possible.