Timo Meier will join the Swiss Men’s National Hockey Team for the remainder of the 2018 IIHF World Championship. The winger spent the entire season with the San Jose Sharks, playing in 81 out of 82 regular season games and suiting up for all 10 post-season contests. Meier registered five points (two goals, three assists) over his 10 playoff games this season.
Meier told the SDA that he feels ready to keep playing hockey, even after the extended play of the post-season. “My energy level is still good. In any case, I have been preparing for a long season. And if we had advanced, I would have played even more. It’s a good test for the body.”
Meier has not previously played for Team Switzerland at the senior level, but has played for various iterations of the Swiss Junior Team, serving as the U20 team’s captain during the 2015-2016 season. Even without his 17 games with Team Switzerland, Meier’s 2015-2016 season was rather eventful, as he also initially served as the captain of the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for 23 games, before being traded to the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, playing with them for 29 regular season games, 18 playoff games culminating in a QMJHL championship, and five games for the Memorial Cup tournament.
American Hockey League (AHL) San Jose Barracuda forward Noah Rod joined Team Switzerland ahead of the tournament’s start. Rod has been held scoreless in both of his appearances at Worlds. Rod played alongside Meier previously with Team Switzerland, serving as an alternate captain during the 2015-2016 World Junior Championship under Meier’s leadership.
Other players in the Sharks’ system playing at Worlds this year include winger Rudolfs Balcers (Latvia), winger Manuel Wiederer (Germany), and defenseman Radim Simek (Czech Republic). Each of these players, as well as Rod, played at least one game with the Barracuda this past season.
Balcers registered four points (two goals, two assists) over the four games of the ‘Cuda postseason, and registered 48 points over his 67-game freshman season with the AHL club. So far, Balcers has also scored two goals in his two appearances at Worlds this year with Team Latvia.
Wiederer scored a single goal during the Barracuda postseason, and during the regular season notched 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) over 52 games during his freshman season. He has been held scoreless in his three tournament appearances this year with Team Germany.
Simek scored 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) with the Barracuda in his first North American season, and dressed for all four games of the Barracuda’s playoff run. While he has not yet made any appearances for Team Czech Republic this year, he has played 30 games for the National Team since the 2015-2016 season, having registered eight points (five goals, three assists).
Doug Wilson had some kind words for these Sharks prospects, stating: “We’re excited that Rudolfs, Manuel, Noah and Radim have been invited to represent their countries at the 2018 World Championships. The experience they receive from playing in this tournament will bolster their career growth, following each of their very successful seasons and a Calder Cup Playoff run with the San Jose Barracuda. Much like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Marcus Sorensen, Joakim Ryan, and Barclay Goodrow, we expect these high-level experiences to play an important role in their development at the professional level.”
The 2018 IIHF World Championships began this past Friday, May 4, and will run until Sunday, May 20. The tournament is being hosted by Denmark, with games being split across Copenhagen and Herning. The Czech Republic and Switzerland are both competing as a part of Round Robin Group A, while Germany and Latvia are participating in Round Robin Group B with the United States and Canada.