Ice hockey: Here are the four new stars of the National League



The championship, which will resume on October 1, will see many new faces on our rinks. Who will be the best pyrotechnicians and the players to watch? We dissect.

The four players should set the ice rinks in Switzerland on fire.

The four players should set the ice rinks in Switzerland on fire.

With the start of the NHL season delayed, there may be a few stars clawing at elite rinks this season. But in addition to these shooting stars, the show will be provided by other goal hunters. « Le Matin » selected four of the new faces, including two old acquaintances who have already evolved in Switzerland in the past.

Here are the four players to watch like milk on fire in the coming season.

Linus Omark (GE Servette)

With the exception of the seasons brightened up by the various strikes in NHL, has there been a player as electrifying as Linus Omark in the Swiss league? We could of course quote Auston Matthews, who played an exercise with the Zurich Lions (2015-2016). But the American had never played against adults at the time. With 46 points in 36 matches, he was still flamboyant.

Linus Omark is of a different stature. The 33-year-old Swede has played the last six seasons in KHL and has totaled 317 points in 345 appearances. During the last exercise, he was the fourth best scorer in the Russian championship and the best of Salavat Yulaev Ufa, a club with which he has played since 2015.

In Switzerland, the left-hander from Lulea is by far no stranger. During the lockout in 2012-2013, he spent the season in Zug. In central Switzerland, he had panicked the statistics with 69 points in 48 matches and had finished best scorer in the league. He had even approached the best mark ever achieved since the year 2000. He only missed three points to equal the 72 units of Ville Peltonen (2003-2004), Erik Westrum (Ambri-Piotta, 2007 -2008) and Juraj Kolnik (GE Servette, 2008-2009).

A goal worthy of his first season in garnet?

  • Last name Omark
  • First name Linus
  • Age 33 Years
  • Country Sweden
  • Post Left winger
  • Awards World Champion (2017). Best LNA counter (2012-2013).

Teemu Turunen (Davos)

Teemu Turunen has been one of the best forwards in the Finnish league for two seasons. With 54 and 51 points respectively, the scorer is pursuing a development that makes him one of the most explosive players in the Finnish first division. Raeto Raffainer, sporting director of HC Davos, had even spoken of him as his « dream transfer ». In the Graubünden mountains, he joins his compatriot Perttu Lindgren for a pair that could do damage.

Anyone who has never been drafted by an NHL franchise will have their first experience outside of Finland. After having done all his classes in the juniors of Jokerit Helsiniki, he passed through HPK and HIFK in the first division. During the last two seasons, he has each time been integrated into the wider framework of the Finnish national team but has never played in the world championship, both in juniors and in adults.

  • Last name Turunen
  • First name Teemu
  • Age 24 years
  • Country Finland
  • Post Right and left winger
  • Awards Finnish Champion (2019)

Julius Nättinen (Ambri-Piotta)

Attention danger! Julius Nättinen knows how to score goals in spades! Best finisher of the last Finnish championship with 33 successes, the Nordic winger left his closest pursuer at six lengths. And to think that the guy is only 23 years old. In Leventine, he is supposed to forget Dominik Kubalik, the fantastic Czech who had been so dominant in the biancoblù jersey.

Unlike Teemu Turunen, Julius Nättinen has already traveled during his young career as he played for three seasons in North America, the time to be drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2015 after having had success in the junior categories in his country. After two seasons in OHL, he played for a year in AHL where everything did not go as planned (55 matches, 12 points).

Back in Europe, he went through a season of adaptation with his lifelong club, JYP, before exploding during the last exercise. Still young, will Julius Nättinen manage to be a dominant player elsewhere than in his country? Ambri-Piotta needs it anyway.

  • Last name Nättinen
  • First name Julius
  • Age 23 years
  • Country Finland
  • Post Winger / Center
  • Awards Memorial Cup winner (Canadian Junior League / 2017). Vice-world champion U18 (2015). U20 World Champion (2016). Top scorer in the Finnish league (2019-2020).

Cory Conacher (Lausanne)

Like Linus Omark, Cory Conacher has already sold quite a few jerseys in Switzerland. In the 2015-2016 season, the versatile striker finished best scorer at CP Bern and helped the Bears win the title. With 52 points in regular seasons, the little Canadian (173cm) was illustrated by his sense of the game and a very sharp scoring instinct. He’s exactly the kind of player who’s too strong to play in AHL and too limited to move upstairs. It is no coincidence that he is running at nearly a point per game in the NHL lobby (330 units in 354 games), but has never managed to get a place in the best league of the world.

In the four seasons following his departure from Bern, he climbed between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Syracuse Crunch. In the last two years, the elevator was broken as he only played five NHL games against 114 AHL. Proof that his dream of establishing himself with the Florida franchise was unrealistic.

At 30, Cory Conacher signed a three-year agreement with the Vaudoise arena club. At the second level in North America, the native of Burlington has not slowed down since in the last 114 matches, he has totaled 102 points. On the shores of Lake Geneva, he will be called upon to replace Dustin Jeffrey in the quartet of foreigners he composes with forwards Brian Gibbons, Cory Emmerton and defender Mark Barberio.

  • Last name Conacher
  • First name Cory
  • Age 30 years
  • Country Canada
  • Post Center / Winger
  • Awards Swiss Champion (Bern, 2016). AHL Champion (Norfolk, 2012).


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