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Feb 15Will the star-studded, new-look Frontenacs be a playoff threat?
Feb 15Heiskanen carries burden of expectation going into Olympics, NHL career
Feb 13Erik Karlsson’s homage to Rasmus Dahlin: “He’s much better than I was at that age”
Feb 12Has the grind gotten to Eeli Tolvanen ahead of the Olympics?
Feb 10Why Vancouver Canucks fans will love Jonathan Dahén
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December 31, 2017

Kurashev leading second wave of talented Swiss prospects

When Nico Hischiers name was called first in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, he became the first Swiss player to ever be drafted first overall. In fact, in the last ten drafts – dating back to 2008 – Swiss hockey has had a player selected in the first round on seven occasions. Solid numbers for any developing hockey nation and with Hischier now assuming the mantle of “next Swiss superstar” from players like Nino Niederreiter and Roman Josi, a second wave of talented players is waiting in the wings.

Cue Philipp Kurashev, currently a key offensive piece for Switzerland in the 2018 World Junior Championships. Kurashev is the son of Russian former professional hockey player Konstantin Kurashev, a man who spent the twilight of his playing career in Austria only to end up coaching in the top Swiss league – the NLA – in the late 90’s. While Philipp was born in Switzerland, he holds dual citizenships and speaks fluent Russian. In terms of deciding which national team to represent however, there was never any question where Kurashev would suit up.
“Russia and Switzerland are both home but I’ve always played for Switzerland and I’ll stick with them”, he told IIHF ahead of the 2017 U-18 championships.

Kurashev spent the majority of his younger playing days in Switzerland, representing Bern, but made the transfer to Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL ahead of the 2016-2017 season, a career move that has seen favorable returns. With 54 points (21+33) in 65 games during his rookie season, Kurashev quickly earned the trust of coaches and teammates alike. So far into the 2017-2018 campaign he has continued to build on that trust by producing at a point-per-game clip for the Remparts.

Consensus among scouts is that the speedy left-handed center fits quite well into the typical mold of a playmaker and is at his best when dishing out clever passes for teammates, providing them with both time and space. While he is relied upon as a key component for Switzerland in the WJC, Kurashev is not the only potential early-round pick on the Swiss roster for the next few NHL drafts.

Large winger Nando Eggenberger, also born in 1999, is a powerful skater who isn’t afraid to shoot the puck or crash the net. He is projected to be picked somewhere in the first two rounds of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, just like Kurashev. Then there are dark horses like 99-born Nicolas Müller – a sparkplug of a forward currently playing for MoDos U-20 team in Sweden, and Nico Gross – a two-way defender born in 2000 who is already a mainstay on the Swiss WJC roster playing in his second straight tournament.

Together they form something of a “second wave” of Swiss talent behind Nico Hischier, signaling that Switzerland is on the verge of finally establishing themselves as a hockey nation to be reckoned with – in the process proving that the 2013 silver in the World Championships wasn’t a one-hit wonder for Swiss hockey.

Hischier, Kurashev and the rest of these talented youngsters probably followed the success of the national team in the 2013 tournament with a sense of wonder and amazement. In the near future, they’ll have plenty opportunities of their own to inspire a new generation of hockey players from Switzerland.

@TheAlphaFuryan

Hampus Duvefelt



15 February, 2018

Will the star-studded, new-look Frontenacs be a playoff threat?

It doesn?t take much to realize that the Kingston Frontenacs are going for it all this season.  Currently sitting fifth in the OHL in points, the team?s trade d...

15 February, 2018

Heiskanen carries burden of expectation going into Olympics, NHL career

Few prospects carry the same aura of expectation as young blueliner Miro Heiskanen. While the Dallas Stars? 3rd overall pick in the 2017 draft likely holds hims...

13 February, 2018

Erik Karlsson’s homage to Rasmus Dahlin: “He’s much better than I was at that age”

As Rasmus Dahlin prepared himself for the next big adventure in his young career, the player he has idolized and patterned some of his game after while growing ...

12 February, 2018

Has the grind gotten to Eeli Tolvanen ahead of the Olympics?

Months ago, ahead of the 2018 WJC, we published a story on who we believed would win the scoring trophy at said tournament. The candidates chosen for the piece ...

10 February, 2018

Why Vancouver Canucks fans will love Jonathan Dahén

 It was unquestionably a strange sight. As crowds were pouring out of NHK Arena, satisfied with hometown team Timrå IK’s convincing 2-0 victory over hated...

09 February, 2018

What’s going on with Dylan Strome?

In a normal draft year, Dylan Strome would have been selected first overall. But 2015 was far from a normal draft year. A generational talent named Connor McDav...

07 February, 2018

Kapanen eager to establish himself in Toronto

Kasperi Kapanen got himself open at center ice, smoothly picked up the breakout pass from Auston Matthews and quickly blazed up the left wing. With every stride...

04 February, 2018

Europe vs. North America – who’ll have the first goaltender in the 2018 draft?

Rarely do you see a goaltender get selected in the first round of the NHL draft. Well, rarely is a somewhat strong word for it, but in the context of comparing ...

03 February, 2018

The steal of the 2017 draft – Eeli Tolvanen looks NHL ready

In European hockey, a huge debate is always tied to the question whether the most promising players should move overseas or keep on developing at home. While th...

02 February, 2018

Kailer Yamamoto has hit his stride in the WHL 

Kailer Yamamoto took a wicked slash from Oskar Steen in the dying seconds of the United States? semifinal loss to Sweden at the World Juniors in Buffalo. It loo...

01 February, 2018

Not an afterthought anymore – Swedish sniper looks to give Sabres value

When he was drafted 181st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL draft, Victor Olofson was an afterthought. That’s no slight on him personally, it&...

31 January, 2018

Mathias Emilio Pettersen – Scouted for over a decade

Few hockey players can say they were a YouTube-celebrity at age six. For Norwegian center prospect Mathias Emilio Pettersen though, it?s exactly what happened. ...

30 January, 2018

Canada’s golden hero is having a season for the ages

One could argue the success of Jordan Kyrou began when he was drafted 35th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2016 NHL draft. Perhaps when he made the 2015-1...

30 January, 2018

Ranking: They lead the way at mid-season Calder Trophy race

The 2017 NHL draft didn?t boast a true superstar talent like the 2016 and 2015 drafts did. That?s nothing against Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, both of whom ...

29 January, 2018

Seven prospects to keep track of during the Olympics

We get it, you pretty much know all about Rasmus Dahlin, Miro Heiskanen and Eeli Tolvanen by now. Hence, we will not bore you with another edition of “loo...

27 January, 2018

What’s the best fit for Rasmus Dahlin?

Yes, he is an amazing talent. Yes, he will be picked first overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Yes, he will be in the NHL this coming fall. Now that we?ve gott...

26 January, 2018

Who is going to stop Russia’s All-Star studs at the Olympics?

The National Hockey League isn?t participating at the Olympics in Pyeongchang next month, but that doesn?t mean there won?t be NHL-calibre talent at the tournam...

25 January, 2018

Dominik Bokk – a German that shunned the Draisaitl route

He’s a German prospect that is getting his hockey education in Sweden. But it wasn’t until last summer that draft eligible forward Dominik Bokk, eig...

25 January, 2018

Logan Stanley – An old school player in the modern era

Ahead of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the reborn Winnipeg Jets franchise had been back on Canadian soil for five seasons. The Paul Maurice-era had started off as p...

08 January, 2018

The WJC summed up in seven thoughts

Rasmus Dahlin lived up to the hype: Since last June?s NHL draft, Rasmus Dahlin has been the face of 2018. For non-playoff teams in the NHL this season, Dahlin i...

08 January, 2018

The future of Avalanche blueline resides in Canada

Cale Makar. Conor Timmins. Samuel Girard. If you are a hockey fan, chances are you?ve heard one or more of these names mentioned at least once. Perhaps ahead of...

06 January, 2018

Gold medal recap: Canada wins gold at WJC in Buffalo

USA 9, Czech Republic 3 Though Czech Republic was looking to win their first medal since the 2005 tournament, the host Americans were ultimately too much to ask...

05 January, 2018

WJC Semifinals Recap – Sweden, Canada advance to gold medal game

Sweden 4, USA 2 While the host Americans would have liked to win the gold medal for their home fans, Sweden commandingly earned a berth in the championship game...

03 January, 2018

WJC Quarterfinals Recap: The Czechs upset Finland – Canada cruises to semifinals

Czech Republic 4, Finland 3 The first quarterfinal game on Day 8 was arguably the best of the bunch. The Czechs battled back from two different one-goal deficit...

02 January, 2018

WJC 2018 Quarterfinal Preview – here are the match-ups

Czech Republic vs. Finland The opening game of the quarterfinal round pits together two teams both looking at an uphill battle to come out of the tournament wit...

01 January, 2018Casey Mittelstadt clear MVP through group stage; 2018 draft-eligibles shine
01 January, 2018Recap of Day 6: Sweden tops Group B, USA pulls out late win against Finland
31 December, 2017Recap of Day 5: Canada tops out in Group A – Sweden takes third straight win
29 December, 2017The call him “The Hunter” – meet the Caps’ rising prospect
29 December, 2017Recap of Day 3: Slovakia upsets United States, Finland dominates Denmark 
28 December, 2017Recap of Day 2 – Canada pushes past Slovakia to remain perfect
27 December, 2017Will Czech Republic’s Necas and Chytil continue to produce their magic?
27 December, 2017Recap of Day 1 – Czechs confirm dark horse status with win over Russia
26 December, 2017Russia looks to extend WJC streak with largely unknown squad 
26 December, 2017Rasmus Dahlin highlights Swedish squad looking to end medal drought 
26 December, 2017Talented Finnish team eager to make amends after last year’s fiasco
26 December, 2017Who belongs where? – The WJC players and the NHL teams they are drafted by
25 December, 2017Too good for the World Juniors – here are the players you’ll miss in Buffalo
25 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Zibanejad ends Sweden’s gold drought in OT
24 December, 2017United States send roster loaded with offensive talent to Buffalo
24 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Chubarov nets twice in 1999 final
23 December, 2017WJC Countdown: David Aebischer leads Switzerland to first-ever World Juniors medal 
23 December, 2017The curious case of Sean Day
22 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Peter Forsberg sets tournament record with whopping 31 points 
22 December, 2017Revolutionizing the game of hockey: who will be next?
21 December, 2017WJC Countdown: The NHL lockout allowed Canada to ice a historically-good team in 2005
21 December, 2017Back in the spotlight
21 December, 2017Russia’s Svechnikov fighting for roster spot, high draft position
20 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Kapanen’s heroics etch his name in Finnish history
20 December, 2017Predicting the top scorer for the 2018 World Junior Championships
19 December, 2017European free agents providing value for NHL clubs
19 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Kazakhstan upsets Canada in front of tiny crowd
18 December, 2017WJC Countdown: United States wins first-ever gold medal after bizarre own-goal
18 December, 2017The five WJC defenders most likely to be on an NHL roster this fall
17 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Russia snaps gold medal drought in 2011 with three ridiculous comebacks
17 December, 2017Canada leaves skill at home in favour of balanced team
17 December, 2017CHL talent has history of producing gems on American roster
16 December, 2017The matter of talent development in Sweden
16 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Tavares’ MVP showing and Eberle’s clutch goal lead Canada to fifth-straight gold
15 December, 2017Makar looking to join rare group of Canadian NCAA stars
15 December, 2017A beginner’s guide to the CHL
14 December, 2017Cool as a cucumber – Rasmus Dahlin ready to embrace the pressure of the WJC
14 December, 2017Is Canada leaving too much skill at home?
14 December, 2017Is Flyers’ prospect Hart a lock for the Canadian starter’s job?
14 December, 2017Edmonton Oilers give Kailer Yamamoto the chance to shine at the WJC
13 December, 2017The Olympic Kids – prospects that starred on the big stage
13 December, 2017Can any of the WJC underdogs break through in Buffalo?  
12 December, 2017A Russian trend – three forwards headed for the first round?
12 December, 2017Deep Russian squad looks to extend medal streak 
11 December, 2017The 2018 WJC underdog that could win it all
11 December, 2017The World Junior Championships – an audition for the Olympics
10 December, 2017Sweden’s elite talent looks to end cycle of WJC mediocrity
10 December, 2017Lukas Vejdemo – taking the patient route to the NHL
09 December, 2017Nicklas Lidström on Rasmus Dahlin: “He looks like Brian Leetch”
09 December, 2017Where are they now? – Three forgotten WJC stars
08 December, 2017Breaking down Team Canada’s roster snubs
08 December, 2017Finland on the rebound after disastrous showing at last year’s WJC 
07 December, 2017Away from the spotlight
07 December, 2017Why Adam Boqvist wasn’t picked for the Swedish WJC camp
07 December, 2017Sabres faithful may get chance to see Mittelstadt shine
06 December, 2017Aleksi Heponiemi – Poised for success
06 December, 2017The hunt for the next Erik Karlsson
06 December, 2017Americans look to finally come through on home ice 
05 December, 2017Canada no longer dominates the WJC like they used to 
05 December, 2017Redefining the modern defenseman
05 December, 2017What the Swedish WJC team should look like