International Ice Hockey Federation

From Bern, via Edmonton

From Bern, via Edmonton

A new Swiss squad means new results incoming

Published 23.12.2015 01:22 GMT+2 | Author Ty Dilello
From Bern, via Edmonton
Swiss forward Dario Meyer is in his first season with the Edmonton Oil Kings after having played junior hockey for SC Bern in Switzerland. Photo: Marissa Baecker / Getty Images
Swiss forward Dario Meyer talks about playing for Switzerland at his first IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last year's World Juniors were one of the most disappointing tournaments in recent years for the Swiss. They failed to make the playoffs, and only narrowly avoided being relegated, so this time around the Swiss definitely have something to prove.

Switzerland will be playing in Group A with top teams Canada, USA, and Sweden. The other team in the group is Denmark who knocked the Swiss down to the relegation round last year.

The Swiss are back and are always going to be dangerous to the top nations. They have solid goaltending in either Gauthier Descloux or Joren van Pottelberghe, and are going to be a threat offensively with players like Denis Malgin, Timo Meier, Auguste Impose, Calvin Thurkauf, and Dario Meyer up front.

Kevin Fiala would have been a big time addition to the squad but won’t come. Missing their star forward, the Swiss team will now be looking for another player to step up and provide some big-time scoring to help give the squad a chance against the powerhouse teams in their group. Players like Dario Meyer relish at that opportunity.

This upcoming World Juniors is going to be the first IIHF tournament for Dario Meyer. The 19-year-old native of Berne has been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time.

After two straight strong seasons for the SC Bern U20 team, Meyer was selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL at the 2015 CHL Import Draft. He decided to come over this fall to North America and see what hockey in Canada is all about. So far this season, Meyer has 14 points in 26 games, and is slowly but surely adjusting to the different ice surface and the North American game. asked Dario Meyer some questions.

How did you get into hockey and at what age?

My parents took me to an SC Bern (NLA) game and that was a reason to try the sport to see if I liked it. So I started after that at four years old.

How was it coming up through the Bern hockey system?

It's a good program in Bern. It’s a great organization with a good coaching staff. I learned a lot in this time and that's why I've never changed teams until the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL drafted me this summer.

Describe your playing style.

I'm a player who likes to play with speed and skills. I'm able to make a play in every zone and create good chances. I like to play as a center to control the play offensively and defensively.

Why did you choose to come play in Edmonton this year in the WHL?

So far it has been a great choice to come to Edmonton. My agent was convinced that I can do that and play well there so it gave me a lot of self confidence. I have to learn to make plays in hard games with a lot of body contact. And that's one of the big reasons to play in the WHL, because it's one of the harder checking leagues.

How is your season going so far and the adjustment to the North American game?

The size of the rink was a big change. Everything happens faster and harder. I had problems at the start of the season with that, but I feel much more comfortable now and I know how to play fast to create something. The last couple games have gone pretty good.

Are you excited by the chance of representing Switzerland at the World Juniors later this month?

I'm very excited for the tryout in Switzerland and Finland. It's a big chance to represent my country, but also myself on a big stage. I will work hard to make things happen and to be a part of the team.

What are some of the goals you and your team hope to achieve at the tournament?

My goals are to play like I did the last few games in the WHL. I'm going to represent myself as best as I can for sure. I've never been before to the World Juniors so I don't really know the goals for the team, but for sure to reach the quarter-finals. It's going to be really tough but we will work even harder to reach our goals.

How do you see the national team moving forward? Are their many good young players in the country that are going to make a difference going forward?

There are a lot of really good young players. A lot of them are playing in Switzerland's top senior league to get better as young as possible. Also the CHL is more and more becoming a place to play for young Swiss players and that's a great step. I think Swiss hockey is getting better every year. It's hard to win against top nations like USA or Canada, but it's not as big of a difference as it was only a couple years ago.

NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Childhood Idol: Sidney Crosby
Video Game: Fifa
Movie: American Sniper
TV Show: Two and a Half Men
Pump-Up Song: Nightwish (Instrumental)
Home-cooked meal: Chicken and pasta
Activity Away From the Rink: Meet friends or other sports like badminton and soccer


Back to Overview