Thread: Switzerland: Tired of beating the winners
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07-09-2010, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by smitty10 View Post
I really think that you are overrating the Swiss. The Slovaks and Czechs may be in decline, but they are still much better than the Swiss. Take a look at the amount of them playing and being drafted in the NHL and KHL compared to Swiss players and this will prove my point. The German's and Swiss are very close in calibur, but with guys like Chara, Hossa, Gaborik and Visnovski the Slovaks still have the upperhand by quite a distance.

I don't quite understand why you are grouping the Czech's in this group as well. They are definately head and shoulders above the Swiss at this point and look to remain so in the future. Who do the Swiss have that can match current players like:Jagr, Krejci, Elias, Kaberle,Z and M Michalek, Havlat, Erat, Hejduk, Kubina, Vrbata, Vokoun, Hemsky, etc? Or what young/up and coming players do the Swiss have that can match: Voracek, Tlusty, Frolik, Kindl, Pavelec, Smid, Neuvirth, Polak, Sobotka or Repik?

Switzerland has looked to be on the verge of breaking out now for the last 10+ years, yet still haven't taken that step to join the "Big 7". Until they win a medal in a major tournament (WC, OG, etc.) they can't be grouped with those other teams, even if IIHF rankings place the Swiss in 7th+. Teams like Denmark, Norway, and Germany all look to have the potential to be as good as the Swiss in the coming years.

It's funny and interesting that I finally did find someone who thinks that I'm overrating the Swiss hockey-development. Usually all posters in all forums basically think that I'm too critical with the Swiss and that I definitely underrate them... ok - nearly all these posters are Swiss and you seem to be a Toronto-guy and I do respect the average hockey-knowledge of Toronto-guys since I discussed a lot of hockey with guys living in this great area in and around Toronto. But still I dare not to agree with everything.

Basically you have to understand that I do judge with my rankings what is going to be and not what is now and was last year and definitely not what was in the last 3-10 years. With my rankings I don't take into consideration age-groups with players like Jagr, Sundin, Satan and so on. I judge what happened in juniors approx. in the last 3 years and what will happen in juniors in the next 3 years. I absolutely respect that we don't have players in a "Gaborik, Chara-category" - but tell me - when did the Slovaks produce such caliber-players lately - it was years ago... not anymore...

Yes, I agree, that Germany, Norway and Denmark are nearly on our level already, it's really very close but we still have the slight edge and there are some indications that it will be not easy for these countries to overtake us in the next couple of years, they will be equal at best but our programm will make some small steps in the right direction.

No, I don't agree with you that the Slovaks still have an edge over the Swiss in international junior-competitions. The games between them are since maybe three years VERY equal with Swiss having a little better teams and the Slovaks have still the small edge with their top-players but actually also this view is very shaky lately if you look at Josi, Sbisa and Niederreiter. The Czechs did come down a bit but are still better - and I also show this in my ranking and the quality-points - but it's not anymore "head and shoulders-better", no - I don't agree with this. Your first mentioned group with Jagr, Elias, Havlat, Hejduk I do agree with head and shoulders but the second group, the younger group with Voracek, Tlusty, Frolik I don't agree- yes they are still better but not head and shoulders - I can tell you that Josi is really good - you will mark my word - Niederreiter was a top5-pick (with this he might be a bit overrated but he definitely deserved to be a top10-pick), Sbisa is a top-prospect what is supported by a consensus of NHL-scouts. I agree that we still have problems to produce high-end-players but we lately produced a big amount of good players. The proof for this thesis was our team in the last WC - we played with a "B-Team" and still managed to compete with Canada and the Czechs (incl. Jagr) and did beat in a really good game the "A-team" of Latvia.

Thomas Roost
Central Scouting Europe / NHL

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