An overview of the Swiss National League A (NLA). How strong are the teams? What about prospects? These are the main questions I asked myself.
The whole league will me much more balanced, than it was last season, but there are still teams who could dominate this season
Teams in alphabetic order:
Pauli Jaks, drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and the first ever Swiss player to play an NHL game, was the best goalie in last year’s regular season, but struggled in the playoffs. This year there will be a lot of pressure on him with the team not being strong up front. If the team is to succeed he will have to hold them in most games and if he does he will be one of the top goalies this season. Back-up Peter Martin is one of the best backup goaltenders in the league.
Last season Ambri had one of the best defenses in the league and they shouldn’t be much worse this season. The defense corps is strong, and the injuries that hurt them last year shouldn’t crop up this time with prospects Andreas Hänni and John Gobbi around. Swedish native, and one time Vancouver Canuck, Leif Rohlin was the best defensive defenseman in the league last season, but the team is relying on him to put up better offensive numbers this time around.
Offense: Read more»
(The picture is courtesy of http://www.hockeyfans.ch)
Name: Sven Helfenstein
Club team: EHC Kloten, Swiss NLA
Position: Left Wing
Height: 5-10 (179cm)
Weight: 167 lbs. (76 kg)
Date of birth: July 30, 1982
Season Team Gms G Asts Pts PIM
97/98 Kloten Jr. B 31 6 8 14 14
98/99 Kloten Jr. A 33 25 18 43 14
98/99 Kloten Jr. A 7 5 3 8 2
98/99 Regular Kloten Sr. 2 0 0 0 0
98/99 Playoffs Kloten Sr. 0 0 0 0 0
+ Anticipates opposition movement well.
+ Creates space for his teammates with intelligent short passes in the offensive zone.
+ Sees his teammates very well and gives great passes.
+ With his passes he increases the linemates options.
- Puck jumps off the stick when he receives sharp passes.
- Puckhandling is reactive, but got better
- Cause of he’s bad puckhandling he has to pass the puck a bit too often.
Playing away from the puck:
+ Breaks into positions to make himself available as pass receiver.
+ He interferes passes well.
+ Can not be made panic.
+ Has no problem to change from defense to offense.
- Too often he seems to be a bit reactive. Tendence: getting better. Read more»
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…)