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- Medal Round: Best of the Projected 2022 Olympic Rosters
Over the years, Switzerland has produced a handful of underdog teams who have surprised at Olympic and other international tournaments. Whether or not NHL players are allowed to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Swiss could very well likely continue that trend.
The NHL has not made a decision on Olympic participation yet, though an announcement could come soon. Given the opportunity to grow the game in China, the NHL should seriously consider the benefits of pausing their season in favor of the Olympics.
Switzerland could have a few intriguing NHL players available to them, with Timo Meier and Roman Josi being the most notable. With that being said, let’s take a look at what the Swiss Olympic team could look like in 2022.
Switzerland’s Projected 2022 Olympic Roster
Here’s an early look at how Switzerland’s roster could shape up for the next Winter Games.
|Timo Meier||Nico Hischier||Kevin Fiala|
|Denis Malgin||Gaetan Haas||Nino Niederreiter|
|Simon Moser||Pius Suter||Sven Andrighetto|
|Sven Baertschi||Calvin Thurkauf||Joel Vermin|
|Gregory Hofmann||Philipp Kurashev|
|Roman Josi||Dean Kukan||Reto Berra|
|Jonas Siegenthaler||Yannick Weber||Gilles Senn|
|Raphael Diaz||Mirco Mueller||Joren Van Pottelberghe|
|Luca Sbisa||Ramon Untersander|
Olympic Roster Breakdown
Despite rostering a handful of players from Switzerland’s top league, this could be one of the most inexperienced rosters when it comes to international tournaments.
- Players from 2014 Olympic Games: 6
- Players from 2016 World Cup of Hockey: 3
- Players from 2018 Olympic Games: 6
- Players with no international experience*: 15
*Excluding World Junior Championships and World Championships.
Switzerland’s Top-Heavy Offense
While not the deepest offensive unit in the tournament, Switzerland does have some interesting talent up front. Timo Meier, Nico Hischier, and Kevin Fiala represent a skilled top line capable of matching up against the world’s best. Add Nino Niederreiter to the three forwards mentioned above and you have a sneaky good top power play unit with Roman Josi likely patrolling the blue line. Additionally, Denis Malgin and Sven Andrighetto could be players to watch in smaller roles.
Apart from the NHLers, Switzerland has a deep pool of forwards from their own professional league. Gaetan Haas, Simon Moser, and Pius Suter can bring it in the NLA and should be able to hold their own in the international tournament. Plus, they have the advantage of skating regularly on an Olympic-sized rink, which is wider than a traditional NHL rink.
Overall, if Switzerland plays a disciplined, controlled game, then they can compete with most countries at the Olympics. They’re not going to win with just their offense – Switzerland will need solid team defense from everyone on the ice to keep pace with the world’s best.
Roman Josi & Friends
Switzerland’s blue line figures to be led by Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman and respected leader Roman Josi. When skating with the Nashville Predators, Josi is used in all situations and frequently joins the rush. His play should translate well to Olympic competition, where he can use the larger rink size and elite mobility to his advantage.
Apart from Josi, Switzerland will rely on a handful of bottom-pairing defensemen and Swiss league standouts to shut down some of the best offenses in all of hockey. Jonas Siegenthaler, in particular, is an intriguing player to watch. He has shown quite a bit of promise as a two-way defenseman for the Washington Capitals. Likewise, Dean Kukan should be able to look like he belongs.
The elder statesman of the squad, Raphael Diaz, could have enough left in the tank to play a sheltered, offensive role for Switzerland. And if he has lost a step by 2022, Luca Sbisa could easily jump into the lineup.
In net, we could see a transition from the old guard to the new. Jonas Hiller retired after a decorated international career. Additionally, Tobias Stephan and Leonardo Genoni are likely past their prime as well.
Instead, Switzerland could go with Reto Berra, Gilles Senn, and Joren Van Pottelberghe as their netminding trio. Berra is the most experienced, but Senn could seize the opportunity if Berra falters.
Damien Brunner, Phillip Furrer, Vincent Praplan, Cody Almond, Enzo Corvi, Tobias Stephan, Leonardo Genoni, Fabrice Herzog.