Austria return to the World Youth Championship for the first time in the tournament’s history, and they will be eager to make the most of it. Last year was their fourth appearance in the Top Division, and although they finished last, the relegation round was scrapped due to scheduling around the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. So yeah, they’re back thanks to the technicality, but they’re back anyway and will have a chance to stick around for the third year in a row.
However, sticking around won’t be easy. Future NHL star and 2021 team captain Marco Rossi is no longer eligible, leaving the team with a huge gap in attack. But even with him in their squad last year, the Austrians still struggled against league regulars, scoring just one goal in four games. This year, they will have to beat Canada, Finland, the Czech Republic and Germany, all of which will have bigger stars on their roster.
However, Austria’s situation may not be so dire this time around. Last year was the Austrian’s first time in the Top Division since 2010, and a year of experience can do any good. Add to that the fact that Austria has sent a very young team to Edmonton in 2021, many of whom will return in 2022. Then there is Marco Kasper, who is aiming to take over Rossi as the nation’s top prospect. There’s a lot more to Austria, but is it enough to keep its place in the top group? Here are the players who will try to make that happen.
Strikers: Kaspar and Peeters provide much-needed firepower
World Juniors is often thought of as a 19-year-old league for a variety of reasons, but largely because of the significant developmental gap that can exist between the ages of 18 and 19. It’s one of the reasons why Canada Do not invite highly qualified people. -talented Brandt Clarke security guard arrives at camp. So when a player enters the league at 16, they have to be a very special talent to be able to handle the highly competitive levels. Famous examples include Connor McDavid, Rasmus Dahlin, Sidney Crosby, Nico Hischier, and Wayne Gretzky.
So when 16-year-old Kasper matched the Austrian last year, people took notice. While he didn’t make much noise, recording only one assist, it was hardly his fault, as the entire team excelled in almost every competition. Now he’s back as a 17-year-old and ready to do some serious damage on behalf of the Austrians. He has played in the Swedish Hockey League for most of the 2021-22 season with Rögle BK, where he has four goals and six points in 20 games. Look for him also being selected in the first round of the 2022 NHL draft.
Five more players will return from last year’s roster, giving Austria a very experienced top nine. Lucas Thaler and Mathias Böhm have played in ICEHL, Austria’s top division, this season, while Finn van Ee has played in the Alps Hockey League (AlpsHL). Leon Wallner chose a different path of development and decided to follow Kaspar to Sweden, and he is starring for Södertälje at both the Under-20 and Allsvenskan levels.
However, it has the ability Senna Peeters Who will have the biggest impact? The unremarkable 19-year-old right-back has been with the Quebec Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads since 2019-20 and was one of the team’s best forwards last season. He will return to the Austrian Under-20 team for the third time this year, after helping them to get promoted from the first division.
After that, it will be a stiff competition to fill the last remaining spots on the list. Another sure-fire player left is Vinzenz Rohrer. Like Kaspar, he qualified for the 2022 NHL Draft and has already begun to catch the eye of some scouts. He joined the Ottawa 67 of the Ontario Hockey League this season and is already fourth in scoring on the team with 17 points from 22 games. There’s a good chance he could push for a top-six role instead of some of the more experienced players, despite playing in his first Under-20 tournament.
Another 17-year-old player to keep an eye on is Luca Auer. He started this season playing in the Austrian junior league but has since been promoted and now plays with EC Salzburg in the ICEHL. However, at the AlpsHL tournament with Red Bull Hockey Juniors, he really caught the attention of the fans when he led the team in scoring with 33 points after 23 games. Nineteen-year-old Oskar Maier is another good bet to make the final Austrian list, as he is playing in the ICEHL and also served as captain of the Red Bull Hockey Juniors. He will likely be joined by Red Bull teammate Maximilian Hengelmüller, another 19-year-old who brings size and depth to Austria.
My last two positions will go to Tim Geifes and Janick Wernicke. Geifes has played in the US Premier League this season for the South Shore Kings, which makes him an invaluable addition. European juniors rarely get to enjoy the North American style, and bringing in a 6-foot-2 player who excels in one of the nation’s top development programs will be invaluable as Austria face head to Canada. Wernicke returned to Austria after playing all the hockey in Norway and has lit up the Austrian Young Stars Championship with 33 points and 13 goals in 15 games.
Defense: Austria faces an uphill battle
Although there are some attractive and experienced prospects on Austria’s forward legions, the same is unlikely for their defence. The team will bring a very young group in the back, only a 19-year-old in Martin Urbanek and one back in Lukas Necesany. The pair will have the big task of containing the likes of Mason McTavish of Canada, Topi Niemela of Finland, Jan Mysak of Czechia and Lukas Reichel of Germany. That’s a tall order for any defender, especially when McTavish already has NHL experience. However, the two Austrians are some of the best defenders in the AlpsHL, and if anyone is up to the task, it will be them.
Luca Erne is another Austrian playing in the USPHL, where he has 17 points from 20 games, and as such he has placed a very good bet to be on the team. It also helps that the 17-year-old blueliner is already 6-foot-3, 209-pounds tall and could bring some experience to a tough tournament. Speaking of guts, Lorenz Lindner is another strong contender for a spot on the intensive squad, as he played an off role in the AlpsHL this season with EC-KAC Future Team.
The Austrians could be looking to add some international experience to their roster with their final picks, giving David Reinbacher and Lukas Hörl a good chance to feature in the team. Reinbacher spent his hockey career in Switzerland and made his debut in the Swiss Super League this year despite being just 17 years old. On the other hand, Hörl joined the Red Bull U18 team in the Czech Under-20 tournament, where he could have faced young Czech World Junior expectations Tobias Handl and Tomas Machu.
Goal: Austria Has A Surprise Chance
There may not be a better story at World Juniors 2021 than Sebastian Wraneschitz, who was tasked with saving starter Jakob Brandner. No one could have guessed that the 5 foot 11 meter tall goalscorer would eventually steal the show for Austria, keeping them in some very important matches for which they had no business. allowed to score seven out of 61 shots against the Czechs. After the tournament ended, no goalkeeper was more shocked than the Austrian, and he earned a well-deserved nomination as one of Austria’s top three players. Despite not performing well in the Western Hockey League this season, he has practically secured a starting spot at this year’s tournament.
Providing support for him will be Leon Sommer and Lukas Moser, two 19-year-olds who have been playing mainly reserve roles in the AlpsHL. Sommer has the better record, going 6-4-0 in 10 games and posting a .920 save against Linz Steel Wings, earning him a call-up to ICEHL’s Linz Black Wings, although he is yet to play. with the team yet. Look for him as a backup for Wraneschitz.
Austria has a tough battle against them
There’s a lot going on for Austrian hockey right now. The small nation has three players selected in the 2020 NHL Draft and owns the top 15 picks in the upcoming draft in Kasper. Some Austrians have also traveled to North America to play junior hockey, showing how their development program has progressed in recent years. And if last year’s tournament is any indicator, there are a number of players, like Wraneschitz or Peeters, who can step up and win for Austria.
However, when comparing Austria with the rest of the competition at World Juniors 2022, they just don’t have what it takes to avoid relegation. There is little hope they can make it difficult for Canada or Finland, and they will need everything to go right to beat the Czechs or the Germans. But that doesn’t make it a wasted experience. The more they can appear in the Top Division, the better their development program will be. And who knows? It is possible that Austria will become the next Switzerland, Denmark or Germany and upset a regular team for a permanent place.
Here’s THW’s final guess for who makes the final 23 list for the Austrians:
Goalkeeper – Sebastian Wraneschitz, Leon Sommer, Simon Moser
The Guardian – Martin Urbanek, Lukas Necesany, Luca Erne, Lorenz Lindner, David Reinbacher, Lukas Hörl, Tobias Sablattnig
Forwards – Marco Kasper, Senna Peeters, Leon Wallner, Lucas Thaler, Vinzenz Rohrer, Mathias Böhm, Finn van Ee, Luca Auer, Oskar Maier, Tim Geifes, Janick Wernicke, Maximilian Hengelmüller, Killian Rappold
All information about the 2022 World Youth Championship team:
|Team Canada||Preview||Assignment table|
|Team USA||Preview||Assignment table|
|Team Austria||Preview||Assignment table|
|Czech Republic team||Preview||Assignment table|
|Team Finland||Preview||Assignment table|
|The German team||Preview||Assignment table|
|Russian team||Preview||Assignment table|
|Slovakia national team||Preview||Assignment table|
|Team Sweden||Preview||Assignment table|
|Team Switzerland||Preview||Assignment table|
An elementary school teacher and avid hockey fan, Dayton joined The Hockey Writers in 2019 and currently includes the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors, and NHL Entry Draft.
https://thehockeywriters.com/2022-world-junior-championship-team-austria-preview/ 2022 World Junior Championship Team Preview against Austria