Photo: HV71 forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Fiala (#23) is expected to lead the offense for Switzerland at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of BJORN LINDGREN/AFP/Getty Images)
After meeting expectations at last year's IIHF U18 World Championship with solid play and qualifying for the quarterfinals for the first time in two years, Switzerland is looking to have the same success this season and is hoping to finally move up among the top 4 countries.
Photo: Halifax Mooseheads goaltender and Montreal Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale took over in goal for Canada in the third game of the 2014 WJC, and helped the team land a top seed for the playoff round (courtesy of Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
After suffering an upset loss in the second game of the preliminary round at the 2014 World Junior Championship, Team Canada won the final two games of that round to take the top seeding in Group A. That top seeding has led the team to a date in the quarterfinals with Switzerland.
Photo: The host country for the 2014 World Junior Championship, Sweden, has performed well so far at this WJC, going undefeated in three games including a 5-3 win over Switzerland on opening night (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
It has been an interesting 2014 World Junior Championship so far, with one major upset plus a fair amont of offense being generated, albeit with a couple of teams proving to be far more generous than most of the field competing in Malmo, Sweden.
Photo: Swiss forward Dario Simion, who received a look at the Chicago Blackhawks development camp this past summer, is appearing in his third and final World Junior Championship (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Traditionally, Switzerland holds their World Junior Championship preliminary camp in the snowy ski resort of Lenzerheide. But before this year's camp began, the Swiss took a major blow as their first-line center and Minnesota Wild draft choice Christoph Bertschy was injured during a National League A game with SC Bern. Not only is Bertschy an experienced player of two WJC's, but he would have served as team captain if he had remained healthy.
Photo: HV71 forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Fiala is looking to continue the string of Swiss prospects chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft (courtesy of Andy Mueller/freshfocus)
Luca Sbisa, Nino Niederreiter, Sven Baertschi, Mirco Mueller. Since 2008, Switzerland has had more success in the first round of the NHL Draft than Slovakia or the Czech Republic, the two countries that hosted the annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and two of the hockey nations generally regarded as being stronger than Switzerland. If this trend continues, the Swiss may well surpass those two nations.