The Halifax Mooseheads are losing one of their top players for the next few weeks.
However, the team isn’t losing him to injury, but rather to the biggest stage for young hockey players around the world.
Nico Hischier will be representing Team Switzerland at this year’s World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal.
The Herd’s Swiss import pick has lived up to his hype after being drafted this summer, putting up 22 goals and 47 points in his first year on North American ice.
In an interview with the Mooseheads, Hischier says he’s very excited as he heads off to the World Juniors.
— Halifax Mooseheads (@HFXMooseheads) December 10, 2016
“It’s a big deal here…especially in Toronto and Montreal,” he said. “I saw some games 2-years ago when my brother played and he told me it’s a really nice experience.”
He’s not the only member of the Swiss national team heading to the tournament from the QMJHL, he’ll be joined by Quebec Remparts forward Philipp Kurashev.
Switzerland has only medaled once in the WJC, picking up a bronze in 1998, but Hischier says youth hockey is picking up in his country.
“We have to play our best hockey and grow together as a good team,” he said. “Anything is possible.”
Hischier will also be showing off to NHL scouts at the tournament, he’s expected to go in the top 10 of the 2017 NHL draft.
Team Switzerland opens its tournament on Tuesday December 27th at Montreal’s Bell Centre, taking on the Czech Republic.