Michel Riesen

By pbadmin
The Edmonton Oilers made history this past summer when they drafted
Swiss standout Michel Riesen. At 14th overall, Riesen is the highest
drafted player ever that was born and trained in Switzerland. He is,
arguably, the best Swiss player in recent hockey history and the Oil
may have gotten the steal of the draft.

What sold Edmonton management on Michel was that they couldn’t find
anything about him that they didn’t love. One thing that Riesen has that
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau do not, is versatility, which he
exemplifies exceptionally well. While he is listed as a left wing,
Riesen can easily play any of the three forward positions. Extremely
talented offensively, he has a pure goal scoring ability and superior
hands that he uses around the net. He led all scorers at the recent
European Junior Championship and far outshined every other player there.
Riesen’s all-around game has no glaring flaws, though his defensive
skills could use some work which will come with time. Michel takes the
puck out well, protecting it much in the form of Jaromir Jagr. Also like
Jags, Riesen has incredible balance attributed to stellar strength. He
comes down very strong on the wing and releases a heavy, accurate shot
or a perfect pass across the slot. A unique European player in that he
shoots right coming from the left side.

Riesen has the height will need to gain some weight, around 15 pounds,
but he should develop into a dominant second-line winger. He signed back
on with Biel-Bienne(SUI) where he’ll continue to mature. He should be
with the Oilers in two seasons and that’s fine with Edmonton. While
they need scoring wingers, they’re not desperate and they have a team
full of sophomores to train. They also know like a good Suiss cheese,
players need time to age and develop.The only worry they have regarding
Riesen is that his Suiss team will try and keep him for more than two
years, which is possible, and that he’ll only be a superstar there
instead of the NHL.

Michel Riesen, LW, 6-2, 183, 4/11/79, shoots R

‘96/97 Biel-Bienne(SUI)

‘97 Suiss Junior team(WJC)

Strengths: versatility..excellent hands and shot..good balance..protects
puck well..strong

Weaknesses: defensive skills..weight..no experience with North American