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Latvia, Switzerland unveil WJC camp rosters

Tuesday, 12.04.2012 / 4:03 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Latvia, Switzerland unveil WJC camp rosters
Switzerland and Latvia, which finished eighth and ninth, respectively, last year, named their pre-tournament selection camp rosters for the 2013 WJC.

Two teams that survived the relegation round at last year's World Junior Championship will journey to Russia later this month with hopes of better results. Switzerland and Latvia, which finished eighth and ninth, respectively, soon will hold their pre-tournament selection camps for the 2013 WJC, which starts Dec. 26, in Ufa, Russia.

Latvia could be led by Zemgus Girgensons, a 2012 first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres currently playing with that team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Girgensons tied for the team lead last year with two goals in six games.

WJC SELECTION CAMP ROSTERS

A 6-foot-2, 192-pound power forward, Girgensons has four points in 16 AHL games -- but at age 18, he's the youngest player in that league. However, if the Sabres allow Girgensons to play in the 2013 WJC, his skill could be the difference in keeping Latvia in the top level of WJC play for another year.

Besides Girgensons, one other player invited to camp is affiliated with an NHL team: Theodor Blueger, a 2012 second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins currently playing with Minnesota State University.

All but three of the 32 players invited to Latvia's camp are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, including a few who already are in North America. Three play in the Western Hockey League: defenseman Rinalds Rosinskis of the Prince George Cougars, and forwards Edgars Kulda of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Roberts Lipsbergs of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Forward Nikita Jevpalovs plays for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Key for Switzerland will be a pair of well-regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospects. Defenseman Mirco Muller of the Everett Silvertips is ranked No. 7 by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of the top 25 WHL skaters. A 6-foot-3.25, 184-pound blueliner, Muller is well-regarded for his defensive-zone skill.

"He has the ability to slow a game down and control it," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "I've seen him do it on numerous occasions. He's really, really intelligent, he can move the puck. He always makes the right play with the puck. I just think he's going to get better. I really like him, he's really smart … he's another one of those guys that gets it. He does all the little things right. He can formulate, he can see plays happening before they happen. His decisions are very good. He's not afraid to step up and challenge players and make good open-ice hits.

Watch WJC on NHL Network-US

NHL Network-US is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with coverage of more than 15 games as well as highlights and analysis.

"He's almost so clever that you don't notice him sometimes, but he's always in control every shift."

Forward Sven Andrighetto of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the QMJHL is tied for seventh in the league with 44 points. He had two points for Switzerland at last year's tournament.

Also invited to Switzerland's camp is defenseman Eliot Antonietti. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound blueliner has played in 23 games for Geneve in Switzerland's top pro league, and is ranked third among by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary ranking of Swiss players for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Of the 29 players invited to the Swiss camp, 26 are eligible for the 2013 draft. Only two have NHL affiliations. Forward Tanner Richard, currently with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, was a 2012 third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and forward Christoph Bertschy, who plays for Bern in the Swiss league, was a 2012 sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Wild.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

LATVIA WJC CAMP ROSTER

GOALTENDERS: Rihards Cimermanis, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Elvis Merzlikins, Lugano Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Vadims Miscuks, Liepaja 2, Latvia (2013 draft eligible); Ivars Punnenovs, Kloten Jr. Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Edmunds Augstkalns, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Matiss Gelazis, Graz Jr., Austria Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Janis Jaks, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Kriss Lipsbergs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Roberts Mamcics, Liepaja 2, Latvia (2013 draft eligible); Kristaps Nimanis, Red Ducks, Finland 3 (2013 draft eligible); Rinalds Rosinskis, Prince George, WHL (2013 draft eligible); Edgars Siksna, Liepaja, Belarus (2013 draft eligible); Patriks Skuratovs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Pauls Zvirbulis, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Toms Andersons, Bern Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Rustams Begovs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Theodor Blueger, Minnesota State, NCAA (Penguins); Richards Bukarts, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2014 draft eligible); Artjoms Dasutins, MVD Balashikha 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Zemgus Girgensons, Rochester, AHL (Sabres); Georgs Golovkovs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Nikolajs Jelisejvs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Nikita Jevpalovs, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL (2013 draft eligible); Edgars Kulda, Edmonton, WHL (2013 draft eligible); Edgars Kurmis, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Arturs Kuzmenkovs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Martins Lavrovs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Roberts Lipsbergs, Seattle, WHL (2013 draft eligible); Karlis Ozolins, Liepaja 2, Latvia (2013 draft eligible); Lauris Rancevs, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Deivids Sarkanis, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Andris Siksnis, Riga 2, Russia Jr. (2013 draft eligible)

SWITZERLAND WJC CAMP ROSTER

GOALTENDERS: Luca Boltshauser, Färjestad, Sweden (2013 draft eligible); Kevin Huber, Zug, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Robert Kuonen, Zug Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Melvin Nyffeler, GCK Zurich, Switzerland 2 (2013 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Eliot Antonietti, Geneve, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Phil Baltisberger, Zurich Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2014 draft eligible); Isacco Dotti, Ambri, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Lukas Frick, Kloten Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Samuel Guerra, Davos, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Cedric Hachler, Zurich, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Dean Kukan, Lulea Jr., Sweden Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Valentin Luthi, Langnau Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Christian Marti, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL (2013 draft eligible); Mirco Müller, Everett, WHL, (2013 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Reto Amstutz, Bern Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Sven Andrighetto, Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL, (2013 draft eligible); Lukas Balmelli, Drummondville, QMJHL (2013 draft eligible); Alessio Bertaggia, Brandon, WHL (2013 draft eligible); Christoph Bertschy, Bern, Switzerland (Wild); Daniele Grassi, Ambri, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Robin Leone, Kloten, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Lino Martschini, Zug, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Jan Neuenschwander, Davos, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Vincent Praplan, Kloten Jr., Switzerland Jr. (2013 draft eligible); Tanner Richard, Guelph, OHL (Lightning); Lukas Sieber, Davos, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Dario Simion, Lugano, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Simon Sterchi, Langnau, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible); Sandro Zangger, Zurich, Switzerland (2013 draft eligible)

Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season