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Swiss ready to roll without Niederreiter

by Mike G. Morreale


GOALIES -- Luca Boltshauser, Färjestad Karlstad, SWE (2012 draft eligible); Lukas Meili, GCK Lions Zurich, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Tim Wolf, GCK Lions Zurich, SUI (2012 draft eligible).
DEFENSEMEN -- Phil Baltisberger, GCK Lions Zurich, SUI (2013 draft eligible); Samuel Guerra, HC Davos, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Cédric Hächler, Malmö Redhawks, SWE (2012 draft eligible); Dean Kukan, Luleå Hockey, SWE (2012 draft eligible); Christian Marti, Kloten Flyers, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Mirco Müller, Kloten Flyers, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Kewin Orellana, SC Bern, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Anthony Rouiller, EHC Biel, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Dave Sutter, Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL (2012 draft eligible); Dario Trutmann, Plymouth Whalers, OHL (2012 draft eligible); Mike Vermeille, Genève-Servette, SUI (2012 draft eligible).
FORWARDS -- Reto Amstutz, SC Bern, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Sven Andrighetto, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL (2012 draft eligible); Alessio Bertaggia, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL (2012 draft eligible); Sven Bärtschi, Portland Winterhawks, WHL (Calgary); Christoph Bertschy, SC Bern, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Daniele Grassi, HC Ambrì-Piotta, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Gaëtan Haas, EHC Biel, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Gregory Hofmann, HC Ambrì-Piotta, SUI (Carolina); Dominic Lammer, EV Zug, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Kaj Leuenberger, EHC Biel, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Lino Martschini, Petersborough Petes, OHL (2012 draft eligible); Devin Muller, Salmon Arm SilverBacks, BCHL (2012 draft eligible); Jan Neuenschwander, HC Davos, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Alban Rexha, SCL Tigers, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Tanner Richard, Guelph Storm, OHL (2012 draft eligible); Cédric Schneuwly, EV Zug, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Dario Simion, HC Lugano, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Joël Vermin, SC Bern, SUI (2012 draft eligible); Samuel Walser, Kloten Flyers, SUI (2012 draft eligible).
Forward Sven Bärtschi highlights a list of seven returning players on the preliminary 33-man roster attending camp for Team Switzerland this week in preparation for the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta.
The 25 players from European teams will train in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and a first cut will be made by the end of this week. Switzerland head coach Manuele Celio will then travel with the team to Red Deer on Dec. 17 to continue the evaluation process. The club will play two exhibition games against Team USA on Dec. 21 in Camrose and Canada on Dec. 22 in Red Deer before paring the roster down to 22 players.
Bärtschi, who was chosen 13th by the Calgary Flames in the opening round of the 2011 Draft, is currently fifth in the Western Hockey League in scoring with 54 points, including 42 assists, for the Portland Winterhawks. New York Islanders prospect and Swiss native Nino Niederreiter, the highest draft pick from Switzerland (No. 5, 2010), will not join his country for a third tour of duty at the WJC. Niederreiter suffered a concussion after a hit to the head from Dallas' Mark Fistric on Dec. 3.
The top 2012 draft eligible prospects on the roster are right wings Joel Vermin and Dario Simion and centers Christoph Bertschy and Samuel Walser. All four skaters were listed among the top four from Switzerland, according to NHL Central Scouting's preliminary fall rankings. Vermin is the top-rated skater. Goalie Tim Wolf, meanwhile, is rated No. 2 at his position among those players starring in Switzerland.
Switzerland, which scored a 3-2 shootout victory over Finland in the fifth-place game at last year's WJC, will compete in Group A of the 2012 WJC with Russia, Sweden, Slovakia and Latvia. Group B will consist of Canada, the U.S., Czech Republic, Finland and Denmark.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale


Switzerland WJC schedule

Switzerland will be in Group A at the 2012 World Junior Championship and play its preliminary-round games at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The medal round will also be played in Calgary
Dec. 26 - Switzerland vs. Russia
Dec. 28 - Switzerland vs. Sweden
Dec. 30 - Switzerland vs. Latvia
Dec. 31 - SSwitzerland vs. Slovakia
Jan. 2 - Quarterfinals
Jan. 3 - Semifinals
Jan. 5 - Gold medal/Bronze medal games

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