Thread: Switzerland: Swiss young guns
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10-13-2011, 09:50 AM
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You have to understand that NLA success doesn't necessarly translate well to international hockey. To play at the international level, a player needs to bring something either through his skating or through his physical play. That's the reason why a player whose strength and skating are above the NLA average like Paolo Duca (you seem more familiar with Ambrý players, so I'll use him as an example) can be dominant in Switzerland, but has limited success at the upper level.

I see guys like Pestoni and Bykov, and to a lesser extent Sprunger, who never had much success with the national team, in the same mould. They have good (or even great in the case of Pestoni) offensive zone instincts, but with their lack of strength and speed, they would get eaten alive by better players. On the other hand, you have guys like Savary with his speed or Romy with his strength who have proven useful in international tournaments. This is why some scouts see NHL potential in Hofmann, with proper development, his skating skill could end up being world class.

You also mention trying to play a more offensive system (which Switzerland has, in my opinion, been doing since Simpson is in charge). Teams have to play with their strength, which, in the case of Switzerland, are skating and hockey sense. Not a single Swiss player is remotely close from having world caliber hands (Sprunger is probably the closest, but as mentionned earlier, his lack of skating skills and physical strength limit his usefulness to some goals against bottom teams).

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