Article written by: Federico Camponovo
Today we want to talk about our Swiss guys who are playing in the most prestigious league of the world. We’ll get to know more about them and the teams they play for! Without further ado, let’s get started.
Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)
Nashville Predators’ captain wants to bounce back after last season painful elimination against Dallas at the playoffs first round. When it comes to individual performance, Roman Josi can certainly have a great season and, provided that he can avoid injuries, keep it up with his average points of 55 per year.
He will be as usual the “Élite defenceman” for the Predators’ first defensive pair and the club expect a lot from him. Even more so considering that P.K. Subban left. Roman will probably play in the first power-play line as usual and will be a penalty killer. We mean, our Swiss guy is seriously a crucial player for Nashville and the team’s success depends a lot on him and his performances!
Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils)
The 20-years old Swiss center is about to start his third NHL season. In terms of individual performances, we expect a lot from him. Experts are saying that this will be his “breakout year”, that is the moment when a player has a leap in quality. Potentially, he can score 70 points.
For now, Hischier should play in the first line with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri, but he must be careful about Jack Hughes (nr. 1 pick at the last draft) who can “steal” Nico’s place in case of great performances. Moreover, this season should be the one during which Nico can also aim at playing in the first power-play unit regularly and this should help him to tally more points.
The Devils have many hopes and expectations on the native of Naters and for now they can be satisfied with him. In fact, even though at times the fans “ignore him”, Hischier is a very complete player. He might not be the most spectacular forward around, but he’s very smart and his hockey sense is above average.
Timo Meier (San José Sharks)
The Swiss winger is coming off his best NHL season during which he tallied 30 goals and 36 assists. In fact, thanks to these figures he set the new record of points scored by a Swiss player in the NHL.
His great performances delivered earned him a 6 millions contract. In terms of individual performances, we expect him to be at the top of his game also this season and actually the Sharks really need him to be at his best considering also that they lost Joe Pavelski, namely the one who scored 30 goals last season. San José want to have a great season and the pressure is high… good luck to our Timo!
This year he should play in the first line as a winger with Locan Couture and Kevin Leblanc / Evander Kane. Moreover, also considering Pavelski’s departure, it’s likely that Timo Meier will find place in the first power-play unit.
Nino Niederreiter (Carolina Hurricanes)
Nino Niderreiter is about to start his first full season with the Hurricanes. Starting from his arrival in Raleigh, he proved what he’s capable of and played a key role on the team’s unexpected results (conference final). Niderreiter, moreover, was the hero of game-3 of the conference semifinals against the team that drafted him (NY Islanders).
Nino is a top 6 forward but there is a lot of competition. Dzingel’s arrival and the presence of players such as Aho, Teravainen and the young Svechinkov will increased the level of this team that aims high.
Kevin Fiala (Minnesota Wild)
Kevin is coming off a poor season that saw him traded to the Wild. The hope is that the season that is about to start will be a turning point for Fiala. The Swiss guy is required to score goals and to increase his level of play and perhaps Minnesota is the right place to relaunch his career. We mean, the Wild started a “rebuilding” phase and that’s ideal for a young player who wants to make a name for himself.
Yannick Weber (Nashville Predators)
The right defenseman is playing for the Predators in the third defensive pair since a while. He is rock solid and that is why he is appreciated. He’s not very offensive minded. Subban departure leaves a spot in the second defensive pair and it’s likely that Dante Fabbro will get that place. Weber, as usual, will have to play some solid hockey. Just like in the past, however, it’s possible that he will not play every game. That’s because Nashville can count on at least 6 potential top six defensemen.
Jonas Siegenthaler (Washington Capitals)
It looks like finally Jonas Siegenthaler can play a primary role for the Capitals after years spent with a minor role. However, there are seven defensemen in the Washington’s roster who can fight for a spot, therefore we can also expect Siegenthaler to stay on the stands for some games. Probably he will be lined up in the third defensive pair, that’s because the former Zürich is not very offensive minded. When it comes to play in the defensive zone though, he’s very solid. We’re eagerly awaiting his first NHL goal!
Denis Malgin (Florida Panthers)
The center of Florida is likely to play in the fourth line and therefore his TOI will not be very high. The Swiss playmaker, however, already proved capable of play well in the NHL. The thing is that, even though the Panthers’ offensive line up is quite underrated, good players such as Alexander Barkov, Mike Hoffmann and Jonathan Huberdeau are the main reason why Denis Malgin struggle to find a place. As for the Florida Panthers as a team, it looks like it’s finally time to consider them a playoffs contender.
Mirco Mueller (New Jersey Devils)
Mirco have to deal with more concurrence compared to last season. The arrivals of Subban and Ty Smith are a “problem” for our Swiss guy. So far there are eight defensemen and therefore it’s not gonna be easy for Mirco Müller to find a spot in one of the three defensive pairs. We can expect, however, him to collect approximately 40-60 appearances this season.
Gaëtan Haas (Edmonton Oilers)
The fomer center of Bern is finally ready for the NHL and he will play in the Oilers’ bottom six. His contract is a one-year two ways, therefore there is the risk that at some point he will end up playing in the AHL. Even though, considering that we know him quite well and we know just how talented he is, we can easily imagine that he will play a regular in the Edmonton’s line up. We’re pretty sure that thanks to his skills he will turn out to be one of the surprises of the Oilers this season!
Dean Kukan (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Dean Kukan is improving each passing season. He used to be the 7th defenseman but we’re pretty sure that this season he can play more than before. We mean, Columbus aren’t the best team around, therefore also Dean can find some space.
Sven Baertschi (Vancouver Canucks)
Unfortunately Sven Baertschi got injured several times, but he’s a precious gem and not many people seem to know that. He’s got great shooting skills but also last season he missed most of the games because of a concussion. Unfortunately, lately the Canucks put him to waivers and therefore he will start the season in the AHL.
NHLers wanna be
Ecco chi potremmo vedere fare il proprio debutto in NHL quest’anno, proveniente dalla AHL.
Tobias Geisser: When it comes to style of play, Tobias Geisser is similar to Siegenthaler or Mueller. He’s solid in the defensive zone but still lacks of efficiency in the offensive zone. Yet, the Washington Capitals might give him a chance at some point, especially in case of injuries.
Calvin Thurkauf: the Columbus aren’t the best team out there, therefore who knows… perhaps our two-way forward might even receive a call at some point from the Blue Jackets coached by Tortorella. If not this season, we’re pretty sure that in the future he will have his chance.
Philipp Kurashev: the young Swiss is playing his first season with the professionals, but it’s very difficult that he will play for the Chicago Blackhawks. Yet, if he can deliver good performances in the NHL this season… the NHL doors will be open for him in the future!