Two 15 year olds are shaking up the Swiss Amateurs

By Martin Locher

The 1st Amateur League is the 3rd highest league in Switzerland. Almost all
the players have a full or part time job or go to school. The league is
split into 3 regional divisions. The winners of each division play a
round robin to determine the Amateur Champions.
In the Eastern division (group 1), two 15 year old school boys have drawn
a great deal of attention. Not in the news, but of coaches and
scouts.
These two boys excel by playing a defensive style of hockey. Offense wins
games – defense wins championships. This could also be written like
this. Offense is gaining the attention of all – defense is gaining the
attention of the experts.
Tim Ramholt and Emanuel Peter are both defensive specialists, but not “defense
only” players. Both were born in 1984, but are already playing in the 80
to 82 born juniors category and in the best Amateur league. Also both
got called up for the U17 national team in February.
Ramholt is currently playing for the Grasshoppers junior team.
His club has signed a so called “Partner Team Agreement”, with Küsnacht, one of the amateur teams.
The agreement indicates that the Grasshoppers junior team can lend its players to Küsnacht if requested by Küsnacht.
According to Ramholt’s junior team coach Richi Jost “Ramholt is
always one of the first players, the Küsnacht coach asks for, when we
talks about the players, who will be sent to them for the next game”.

While playing 3 or 4 games a week, Ramholt would still like to play a few
additional games with players of his own age.
Jost (Ramholt’s coach) expected Ramholt to play pro hockey this season, but Ramholt never
got the chance, despite practicing numerous times with the pros.
Ramholt is 6′ 0” (182 cm), 158 lbs. He is outstanding defensively, and
anticipates situations very well. A good skater, who is speedy and has good
balance. Yet he does have some problems with his agility, but nothing dramatic.
To sum it up. he skates very well. Due to that, he has absolutely no problems with
endurance, despite playing 3 to 4 games a week with older kids and men.
He is very ripe for his age, but a true leader. He already hs taken on a lot of
responsibility, as in November 1999, he was named U16 national team
captain.
His offensive abilities appear to be his biggest weakness. Decision
making with his puckmovement and passing could use some minor
improvements. While his shooting needs some major work.
Ramholt was born in November of 1984 and is eligible for the 2003 NHL draft.
Emanuel Peter is playing for the juniors and amateurs of Uzwil. His
junior team is just playing on the B-level in the 80 to 82 born
category. But you don’t see that, when watching Peter on the amateur
level.
The 6′ 0” (184 cm), 187 lbs. center earned a spot on the 3rd line,
while the regular 3rd line center was out for a bit. Upon the return of
the 3rd liner, Peter was temporarily placed onto the 4th line, but has
since fought his way back and regained his spot. The other player is now acting as a 3rd
line winger.
Peter is, just like Ramholt, outstanding defensively. “The animal”, like
a former teammate called him, is a fast, agile, quick skater, who shows
some leadership quality. His passes find the right teammate and he plays with great
intensity.
Changing his mind from defense to offense or offense to defense is no
problem for him. A very good transition player. Peter needs a lot of work
in the face-off circle, as his percentage is very bad. Potentially he is a good
face-off player, at least after the bully he knows what to do. Blocking
the other center or skate into the slot.
Peter is strong, but now, at the end of the season, his endurance seems
to lack a bit. Also he knows how to use his size. He knows how to drive to
the net and scores some important goals, but his shooting still needs a lot of work.
It is known that often Swiss coaches tend to take talented defensive forwards and switch them into
playmaking defensemen. With Peter’s talent he surely would be a candidate
for this scenario. A center of Peter’s caliber is wanted everywhere.
Although I think it would be best for his career, if he could stay at the center
position.
Peter is eligible for the 2002 draft, as he was born in June of 1984.
Both, Peter and Ramholt, have bright futures, but both are still
teenagers and many things happen from age 14 to 18. If they continue to
work hard and don’t let the media get to their heads, they will no doubt get a
chance to become NHLers.