POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.1.2012 / 9:20 AM ET

KLOTEN, Switzerland – 19-year-old forward Nino Niederreiter is one of three NHL players on the Swiss roster. After his first year with the New York Islanders, the youngster is looking to develop further at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Niederreiter already had some ice time at the Worlds two years ago as a junior, but now he’s expected to get a bigger role.

“It’s great that he’s here. He came two years ago to us as a 17-year-old. He had a good camp. He only played two games only, but he was just 17,” national team coach Sean Simpson said after a practice in the Zurich suburb of Kloten. “There are not many people who play even one game in the Worlds when they’re 17 years old. He’s a very mature 19-year-old now.”

There was much hype about Niederreiter in 2010 when he had a great junior season both with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, but also when he helped eliminate Russia in the World Junior quarter-finals in Saskatoon by scoring two goals for Switzerland.

Some months later he became the highest drafted Swiss player ever, going fifth overall. The New York Islanders sent him down to the junior team after nine games, but 2011/2012 became his first NHL season, although he scored just one goal in 55 games.

“On one hand I can be happy, on the other hand the season was disappointing,” the Chur native said. “I was injured two times and always had to battle hard to get on the line-up and stay there. But in the end I’m happy I could play the full season in the NHL. I was able to learn a lot and I was happy I wasn’t sent back to the juniors.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.30.2012 / 9:54 AM ET

Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle scored with 0.8 seconds left in regulation and then added the shootout winner as Canada downed Switzerland 2-1 in an exhibition game Sunday.

John Tavares was on the ice for Eberle's game winner and finished with a plus-1 rating, while Swiss Captain Mark Streit led his team with four shots.

Canada and Switzerland will square off in another exhibition game Tuesday, May 1 in Kloten, Switzerland.

Read the full Game Recap here
or watch the Game Highlights here

POSTED ON Saturday, 04.28.2012 / 11:09 AM ET

TSN interviewed Team Canada Head Coach Brent Sutter, John Tavares and other players after their first practice in Zurich.

Click here for to watch.

Tavares and Team Canada will face Nino Niederreiter, Mark Streit and the Swiss team in an exhibition game on Sunday, April 29. 

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 10:04 AM ET

Getty Images
Nino Niederreiter joined the Swiss National Team for a pair of exhibition games last week against Sweden. The Islanders forward did not record a point in his first warm-up, a 4-2 Swiss victory on April 18, but scored two goals in a 5-2 win on April 20.

Switzerland has two more exhibition games scheduled before their first World Championship game on May 5 vs. Kazakhstan. They'll face John Tavares and Team Canada on April 29 and May 1. Expect Swiss Captain Mark Streit to be in the lineup for the final two tune-ups.

Frans Nielsen has already played in two exhibition games for Denmark, recording a goal in his first international action of the summer on April 21 against Germany and an assist the next day against the same opponent. Denmark's final exhibition game is on May 1 against Italy. They'll face the Czech Rep. on May 4 to open the tournament.

Kyle Okposo and Team USA play an exhibition game on May 1 against Sweden before playing their first game of the tournament on May 4 against France.
POSTED ON Monday, 04.23.2012 / 10:07 AM ET

All Photos courtesy Team Austria and the Austrian Icehockey Association

POSTED ON Saturday, 04.21.2012 / 10:55 PM ET
Michael Grabner and Team Austria fell to Slovenia in the Gold Medal Game of the IIHF Division 1A World Championship Saturday in Slovenia.

Grabner finished the tournament with four assists in five games, helping Austria earn promotion to the top Division in the 2013 World Championship.

For a full recap of the Division 1A tournament, click here.
POSTED ON Friday, 04.20.2012 / 12:31 PM ET
LJUBLJANA – Michael Grabner is the only of Austria’s three NHL players who was able to represent the national team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A. On Thursday he celebrated the promotion to the elite nations.

Believe it or not, but Grabner is currently participating in his first ever World Championship tournament with Austria’s men’s national team. His last international event dates back to 2009 when he helped his country in the Olympic Qualification. He also played once at the U20 World Championship and two times at the U18 World Championship, both times at Division I level.

Grabner debuted with his hometown club Villacher SV in the top Austrian league as a 16-year-old before moving to Canada. After several junior years and AHL seasons for Vancouver’s affiliate Manitoba Moose he eventually found his place in the NHL in 2010 when the New York Islanders claimed him off waivers.

The team from Long Island was rewarded with 52 points in 76 games. And Grabner was rewarded last spring with a five-year contract worth $15 million, which made him one of the best-paid Austrian athletes.

“It was always my dream to play in the NHL and I think I’m accepted in the league, it doesn’t matter where you come from,” the 24-year-old says. “I hope I can be successful with the Islanders as well next year as I’ve been here – and reach the playoffs.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.20.2012 / 9:38 AM ET
Austria and Slovenia will be promoted to the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland, after securing the top-two spots at the ongoing Division I Group A in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The two teams that will be promoted are already known on the second-last day after Austria’s 7-2 victory against Hungary on Thursday evening. Slovenia followed with a 3-2 win against Ukraine to take first position in the standings prior to the last day.

The Hungarians have one more game left on Saturday against Great Britain, but with six points on their accounts they can’t overtake Austria (10) and Slovenia (12) anymore.

It will be a quick return for both the host nation and Austria. Both teams were relegated at the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia in a tight and dramatic relegation-round battle that also involved Belarus and Latvia.

Austria and Slovenia will face each other on Saturday night for the gold medal game of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.
POSTED ON Friday, 04.20.2012 / 9:30 AM ET
One day after falling in a shootout to Japan for their first loss of the tournament, Austria rebounded with a 7-2 route over Hungary on Thursday, April 19 in Slovenia.

Michael Grabner recorded two assists for Austria and now boasts four points (all assists) with a plus-3 rating in four games. Grabner had 13 shots on goal Thursday but has yet to break through in the scorer's column. He did, however, score a shootout goal Wednesday against Japan.

Austria and Slovenia will face each other on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST for the gold medal game of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

POSTED ON Monday, 04.16.2012 / 1:07 PM ET
Austria 7 vs. Great Britain 3

Austria scored the game's first four goals and cruised to a 7-3 victory over Great Britain in their second game of the 2012 IIHF Division I World Championship in Slovenia on Monday, April 16.

Michael Grabner was held pointless for Austria, which improved to 2-0. Austria returns to action on Wednesday, April 18, against Japan.





J. Tavares 78 33 37 6 70
K. Okposo 79 22 42 -4 64
F. Nielsen 81 20 32 1 52
B. Nelson 81 26 14 -3 40
N. Leddy 81 5 35 -9 40
A. Lee 80 15 21 -2 36
J. Bailey 81 12 20 -7 32
C. Cizikas 80 8 21 4 29
R. Strome 71 8 20 -9 28
M. Grabovski 58 9 16 3 25
T. Greiss 23 11 4 .925 2.36
J. Halak 18 13 4 .919 2.30
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