Last Year – The usually competitve Swiss side took a step backward in 2012 and finished in 8th place, just behind the US in the relegation round. Injury to top prospect Sven Baertschi hampered the club offensively and they couldn’t overcome the top teams to reach the quarterfinals.
# Returnees – 11 (expected) – Luca Boltshauser, Phil Baltisberger, Cedric Hachler, Dean Kukan, Christian Marti, Reto Amstutz, Scen Andrighetto, Alessio Berteggia, Lino Martschini, Tanner Richard, Dario Simion
Key Players – Tanner Richard of the Guelph Storm is one of the few NHL drafted players on the roster, and had 4 points in 6 games last year.
Watch For – Phil Baltisberger could be the next Swiss star, but at 17 he might not be ready to dominate this tournament. He will likely show flashes and will not be intimidated by playing against older players.
Prediction – You can’t discount the number of returning players the Swiss bring to this tournament. However, the depth of the team cannot compete at the level of the top 6 teams, so they will likely find themselves in the relegation round once again, but should have no trouble staying in the top group ahead of the likes of Germany and possibly Latvia.