Is Swiss development now ahead of some of the "big 7"?

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by smitty10, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. smitty10

    smitty10 Registered User

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    I'm asking specifically about countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the 4 most recent entry drafts, the Swiss' haven't had many players drafted, but almost all could be considered top-end talent. The Slovak's and Czech's have had a few more players taken, but the talent of these players seem to be quite a bit lower than that of Switzerland.

    So, are Slovakia and Czech Republic still ahead of Switzerland in the development of hockey players?

    Since 2007 these players have been taken from each country:

    Switzerland:
    Yannick Weber
    Luca Cunti
    Luca Sbisa
    Roman Josi
    Nino Niederreiter
    Sven Bartschi

    Slovakia:
    Milan Kytnar
    Juraj Mikus
    David Skokan
    Richard Panik
    Tomas Tatar
    Radoslav Illo
    Jaroslav Janus
    Marek Viedensky
    Martin Marincin
    Adam Janosik
    Tomas Jurco

    Czech Republic:
    Jakub Voracek
    Michal Repik
    Vladimir Ruzicka
    Ondrej Roman
    Radim Ostrcil
    Tomas Kundratek
    Michal Jordan
    Tomas Kubalik
    Andrej Nestrasil
    Roman Horak
    Tomas Vincour
    Petr Straka
    Jakub Culek
    Petr Mrazek
    Adam Polasek
    Radko Gudas
    David Musil
    Dmitrij Jaskin
    Martin Frk
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  2. BeastoftheEast85

    BeastoftheEast85 Registered User

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    Switzerland has maybe produced a few good prospects over the past few years, and if this continues we might start saying "the big 8", but Slovakia and Czech Republic have produced some of the best hockey players of all time. It takes more than a couple years to say Switzerland is ahead of these nations in terms of development.
     
  3. Hrad

    Hrad Registered User

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    Yeah the Swiss will have to produce more prospects for a few more years for it to be considered close.
     
  4. swissexpert

    swissexpert Registered User

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    Czech Rep.>Switzerland>Slovakia in terms of Junior development.
    For adult Hockey, it'll take another 3-4 years until Switzerland passes Slovakia...
     
  5. S.S. Giggy

    S.S. Giggy RIP 1974-2011

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    Not quite yet but I think they are getting there.
     
  6. Yeah whats Cuntis upside as an nhler? I recall he was part of a pretty prolific line in junior. Something like Cunti-Cormier-Cornet/Caron was it that took their team to the memorial cup?
     
  7. A bit longer than 3-4 years methinks. Slovakia still has a lot of great adult players. The question is development ahead and I would say yes.
     
  8. zorz

    zorz Registered User

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    I think Hossa and Gaborik will extend that period to 5-6 years.
     
  9. torero

    torero Registered User

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    While an impressive list, it is not a good yardstick to measure swiss hockey.

    In Switzerland, we have a very good league and many players stay at home !
    Then they play in the Swiss way. Good or not, while it is not the NHL, nor the KHL, it is very popular and the attendance is great ... some recent "successes" talk per se.

    The hype for foreign countries started some years ago with successful goalies ... and the recent successful field players.

    The Czech Republic and Slovakia have a history of soviet era, and when they could leave for higher salaries they went straight for it. Mainly export oriented.

    Resulting into a very different pattern of emigration.

    Interestingly Smitty points out at a lower talent for the broad Czechs and Slovak players vs the Swiss players. Certainly the Swiss players who earn a decent salary in Switzerland (budget for a team average 7mio Euro) may earn more than the nice NHL salaries with 50% taxes ! Therefore if you aim at a 2 mio or more in the NHL ... it is worth moving but for a 700'000 basis salary ... i am not convinced. Therefore it would confirm that most Swiss average talents stay in Switzerland.
    (+ swiss league is more confortable than north american leagues ... less games ... less time spent traveling ... less physical ... cosier ;-) )

    Hence measuring the qualities of the countries with this list is inappropriate.
     
  10. Krotak

    Krotak is the Legend

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    I like how all Swiss underrate Slovakia.:)

    Even with your all time best U20 teams at last two World Championships you were just a bit better team and for example this year it was pretty equal and you were lucky (e.g. We were missing two best defenders Marinčin and HraÅ¡ko and almost all your goals were rebounds, then crazy goal from the red line).

    3-4 years for pro hockey? I think even your National team will miss a lot of forwards too which carry your team last 10 years, e.g. Martin Plüss, Ivo Rüthemann, Thierry Paterlini, Sandy Jeannin...
    When you look at Sochi 2014 Roster Predictions your defense and goalies will be equal to Slovak defenders and goalies but I think your forwards won't be better than in 2010 OG in Vancouver.
     
  11. swissexpert

    swissexpert Registered User

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    You can't immagine how happy I am not having to see those guys with our national team anymore.
    There will be a gap after this generation, but it'll be filled out better after Sotchi. And from then, there is a good depth as well as high end talents, while Slovakia is missing their golden generation badly.
    I doubt the Swiss will ever be a clear better team than the Slovaks, but it'll be an equal fight, like it is in Juniors now.
     
  12. Krotak

    Krotak is the Legend

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    OK, I has to agree. However your previous post was different:

     
  13. swissexpert

    swissexpert Registered User

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    OK, by "SUI passes SVK" I meant "SUI reaches SVK" ;)
     
  14. smitty10

    smitty10 Registered User

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    I still think that the Swiss are about 7-8 years away from Slovakia because of Gaborik, Hossa, Halak and Chara. They could close the gap quickly if Niederreiter, Bartschi, Sbisa and Josi all develop ahead of schedule, but even so the Slovak's have Tatar, Panik, Jurco and Marincin all up and coming.
     
  15. Handlanger

    Handlanger Registered User

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    Agreed on the first part - I do not underestimate Slovakia a bit.

    Disagree on part two - our offense will be much better, there will be players like Niederreiter, Bärtschi, Pestoni, Hoffmann, et all on the A-Squad, together with some of the old bunch (mainly red offensive players, whereas the newbies are more green players).

    I'm pretty convinced that the offense will be much better. And never forget our ultimate weapon: The goalies. :sarcasm:
     
  16. Pokechecker

    Pokechecker Registered User

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    My piece of cake...

    The Swiss U20-team did finish 5th at the WJC after finishing 4th last year. The U18-team finished 2nd in a Five-Nations-Tournament (facing Czech Rep., Slovakia, Finland and Germany). The U16-team did win a Four-Nations-Tournament with Slovakia, Finland and Germany. The very good results lead us a bit to the wrong conclusions because these results overrate a bit the real level of Swiss Junior-Hockey. But it’s just a little bit. Personally I dare to say at this point that Swiss Junior Hockey did reach some sort of milestone, the Swiss did move up to the Slovaks and maybe even already did overtake them. I’m not a guy who values the result of a single game or a single tournament but my observations over the last 24 months led to this conclusion: Yes, we are right there, Swiss junior-hockey is even slightly better now than Slovak junior-hockey. This is a milestone and I do know very well what it takes to climb up in the ranking if you are already not very far away from the top. We are talking about No. 7 in the world. Compared with the Slovaks we have the better teams, better depth in the rosters, the Slovaks still have the slight edge in terms of producing outstanding talents.

    What did make me happy following the recent games over Christmas (U20, U18 and U16) is the fact that our teams play with a lot of enthusiasm, with a lot of energy and with an optimistic approach. It’s not anymore the safety first destructive building a wall-approach – as it was a couple of years ago - the Swiss game-plans have now more variety, they skate very hard, the try to hit whatever they can catch and when they have the puck they really started to take some risks in a positive way. I appreciate this development very much. It will develop our players better than ever before.

    What is still lacking in Swiss Junior Hockey is “High-End-Playersâ€. It’s unrealistic to expect every year a handful of high-end-prospects but I don’t have an answer why we are still lacking star-players in the NHL. We do have good depth meanwhile and we do have a couple of players who are on the verge of becoming NHL-players (Niederreiter, Josi, Bärtschi) but we don’t have yet – at this point – players who are on the verge of becoming star-players or superstar-players in the NHL. We need them to take the next step. Slovakia, Germany, Belarus, even Austria and Slovenia have similar or even more very good NHL-players than the Swiss. Yes, we have Hiller but this is just the ticket to be allowed to compete because in today’s hockey every Top10-country has at least one very good goalie, so Hiller is much appreciated by me but he is not better than the No.1-goalies of other Top10-Hockey-countries – he is just right there. Streit is injured and if he plays again he is on a similar level than German d-man Ehrhoff. Our best forwards are not as good as the Slovenian Ance Kopitar. They are not as good as the best Slovak forwards (e.g. Gaborik, Hossa), and with all respect to Mark Streit – he is not as good as the Slovak Zdeno Chara. Austria has one good or even very good and two decent NHL-forwards (Vanek, Grabner, Nodl). The Swiss have to close that gap first of all to the before-mentioned countries and - in case we want to move on – we have to improve significantly in the “star-player-categoryâ€.

    What is also lacking in some parts of our hockey community is the understanding of our hockey-level. We are missing realistic expectations and the self-confidence to face the so called “brutal factsâ€. If I mix the media-comments before the U20-WJC and after finishing 5th/6th I did understand between the lines that a medal was somehow expected and that it is a slight disappointment to finish 5th/6th and losing 4:1 and 8:0 to Canada. The reality is: It was a great, great victory vs Germany – who had an excellent age-group in this tourney and definitely didn’t deserve to go down. It was a great, great victory vs the Slovaks who had a couple of high-end-forwards in their squad. The Swiss did win both games and these heroic wins were just great and not normal! The realistic chances to win these games for the Swiss were not better than 50:50.

    We also have to respect that if you follow very closely a game between our best junior-hockey-players and e.g. the best US, Sweden, Canada and parts of the Russian and Finnish players – there is still a gap, sometimes even a big gap. Their best players are simply better educated, they skate better, they handle the puck better, they are bigger and stronger and the shot-quality is noticeably better than the average Swiss sho-quality – these are the brutal facts and these brutal facts won’t even change after a surprising win vs one of the big hockey-countries. As long as we lose 4 out of 5 games vs these big hockey-countries there is no reason to believe that we are right there. We are not! And if we are not happy that we are not there yet we have to be self-critical enough to face these facts and to fight for improvement. This improvement will come with “state-of the art-projectsâ€, with concepts and with money who supports all this. I can tell you I see these projects and I did read some very good Swiss hockey-concepts for improving but sometimes I feel that the most important puzzle-piece is still missing: It’s the teachers, the coaches, the educators of our educators. If you want to be world-class - in whatever discipline it might be - it’s a question of quantity (how many hours do I practice a certain thing, in our case hockey) and quality of methodic/didactic. The combination of the most practice-time and the best teachers lead together with a certain personality of the athlete (passionate, self-critical, hard-working and mentally tough) to world-class. What Swiss hockey is still missing – and it will be one of the last puzzle-pieces to world-class – is this high-end-teaching, world-class hockey-educators. Don’t get me wrong. What Swiss hockey achieved so far is a lot and we have to appreciate and respect this, I definitely do so! Hundreds of junior-coaches did spend big amounts of their spare-time educating boys who want to learn playing hockey. They don’t get real money for it, they just do it for fun because they are puck-heads, they love the sport of hockey! All these coaches and educators are responsible for what we have achieved so far. But now – if we want to become realistic medal-contenders and if we want to develop “high-end†hockey players, if we want to “produce†regular NHL-Allstars, we have to take the next step, we have to try to find the best possible hockey-educators and bring them to Switzerland, helping to improve all our great coaches, help them to take the next step from being very good hockey-educators to world-class hockey-educators.

    Coming back to my question in the topic: Switzerland did take one step in the right direction. Switzerland did move up from No. 8 to No. 7 – let’s say in the age-group 15-25. But Swiss hockey is still several steps away from the best hockey-countries in the world. I just partly agree that the main reason for this is the small amount of hockey-players compared to Canada e.g. The bigger amount of hockey-players means that a country has more depth and the proof for this is if we watch how the NA-Import-players – who are not good enough for the NHL – still dominate the scoring-lists in our league. I don’t agree that a small country necessarily will produce a lower quality national-team – we just need 26 very good players for a great national-team. Because you need “just†26 good players this gives also smaller countries like Switzerland a good chance to compete on the highest-possible level. Of course, if you can choose from more players you always will have an advantage but this is just part of the truth. If we do everything “state of the art†– we can compete with everybody on a national-team-level. So let’s try to doeverything “state of the artâ€. Let’s face the brutal facts. Let’s be proud of what we achieved and now let’s go for the next step!

    Thomas Roost
    Central Scouting Europe
     
  17. JonathanK

    JonathanK McOptimistic

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    great post
     
  18. swissexpert

    swissexpert Registered User

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    Very good post and great to see you back, Mr. Roost!
     
  19. jcbio11

    jcbio11 Registered User

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    I strongly disagree. Just because the Swiss U20 team finished higher than Slovakia's last two years it doesn't mean that they've got them beat in this category. Number of drafted players still favors Slovakia greatly.

    But okay, let's say it's debatable. But to claim that Switzerland moved to number 7 in the age group 15-25 is just blasphemy. If you were to make a U25 Slovakia and Switzerland team, Slovakia's team will be just way better, featuring three actual, estabilished NHLers (Meszaros, Sekera and Halak) and several on the verge of becoming ones (Tatar and Bliznak already drew first blood). How many estabilished NHLers do the Swiss have in that age category? Hm, Luca Sbisa and if I close both my eyes, I guess I could call Yannick an NHLer. Certainly not an estabilished one though.

    If they've really passed Slovakia in the under 25 age category, shouldn't they have more than one (estabilished) NHL player to show for??? Especially since Slovakia has 3, also all of them more high profile than Sbisa.
     
  20. LeafsandSharksfan

    LeafsandSharksfan Cero Miedo

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    Not until some of these Swiss players become major NHL players.
     
  21. Pokechecker

    Pokechecker Registered User

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    If you read carefully you will find my opinion that the Slovaks still have the slight edge in terms of producing exceptional talents but overall if I count all these virtual and/or actual national-teams (U16, U18, U20 and a virtual U25-team) in my opinion the chances for the Swiss to win these games are (60:40 U16 / 65:35 U18 / 50:50 U20 and 55:45 U25). Outstanding single talents are just one part of a winning team, there are other aspects (team-behaviour, playing without the puck, discipline, depth, game-plans and others) and in these categories I did find in the last couple of years that the Swiss did overtake the Slovaks - not by miles but a little bit - still - and again - the Slovaks have still the slight edge in terms of outstanding individual talents. Mixing this all together I stand to my quote telling that the Swiss agegroup 15-25 did close the gap to the Slovaks and probably already has the slight edge, Swiss ice-hockey in this age-group is No.7 - of course this No. 7 is on thin ice and I will follow the next couple of months and years very carefully and will correct my today's opinion if necessary.
     
  22. The Saw Is the Law

    The Saw Is the Law Registered User

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    What I see:

    Switzerland is a great rising hockey market.

    When Niederreiter, Bärtschi & co develop into their prime guys like Hossa, Gaborik, Chara, Kaberle, Elias and Havlat are all retired or near retiring. Slovaks and Czhechs no more have their current elite talent. The game is much different then. Nino could be the best mid europe born player in 2020. 2020 we are maybe talking about top6/top7/top8/top10/top12 countries.

    Oh. Did I forget the end of the world 2012? : sarcasm :
     
  23. zorz

    zorz Registered User

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    I think more likely than this scenario is there will be just top2 or top3 countries in 2020.
     
  24. Pokechecker

    Pokechecker Registered User

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    I guess Conz, Niederreiter, Bärtschi, Josi, Brunner, Diaz, Sprunger, Sbisa, Weber, Hofmann, Lötscher are competitive enough to face the Slovak U25. Josi will most probably be soon in the NHL (12 months). Probably not a lot of readers know already Diaz - unbelievable smart d-man who can play a high-tempo-game - he most probably will get NHL-offers this summer, Brunner also has a chance. Yes, nobody of these mentioned players are probable NHL-All-Stars but this is not the question here in this discussion - the question is: Is the Swiss age-group 15-25 equal or better than the Slovaks. The recent U16, U18 and U20-results did somehow "proof" my observations. My U25-team-strength is just a guess.

    Thomas Roost
     
  25. 0123456789*

    0123456789* Guest

    Niederreiter and Bartschi are both far from even holding down a roster spot in the NHL, they look like good prospects with lots of potential(seen lots of both) but they still have their work cut out for them. There are Czechs and often times Slovaks drafted pretty much every year with their potential or atleast similar potential and I would guess based on what I know that there will be much more talented players coming from those two countries in the next few years then Switzerland. I do think Niederreiter will be a NHL player, he is far from guaranteed to be a steady top 6 player yet alone a major impact player but im confident he will have a NHL career and he does have the potential to be a impact player on his team. Bartschi is also looking good but he is still young and its hard to judge but the potential is there, though at this point I wouldent bet my life on a NHL career yet, mind you I wouldent do that on probably 90% of the prospects going in to most drafts.

    What im saying is to get things in perspective because Swiss hockey still has a long way to go and you will be disappointing if you get ahead of your selves. But I gotta say they are on the right track and if things continue the way they have been its very possible that sometime in the distant future they will surpass Czech republic and Slovakia maybe even this decade.

    Like this fortune cookie I had a few years back.

    "Keep your expectations low to avoid disappointments"
     

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