Team Austria Players to Watch at 2023 WJC


At the 2022 World Junior Championship (WJC) in August, Team Austria went 0-4 whereas being outscored 21-4. Had it not been for the ruling from the IIHF that no relegation spherical was to happen at that event, they’d almost definitely not be attending the 2023 WJC being held in Halifax and Moncton.

Anyone trying ahead to watching Marco Kasper, the Detroit Red Wings’ eighth general choice from the 2022 NHL Draft, might be dissatisfied as he will not be attending the 2023 WJC. He would have been the centerpiece of the Austrian roster, preventing to keep away from the relegation spherical. Despite that, nevertheless, there are nonetheless some fascinating gamers to watch.

Vincenz Rohrer 

The Montreal Canadiens had been in a position to choose winger Vincenz Rohrer with their 2023 third-round decide. In his draft plus one 12 months this season, he has returned to enjoying for the powerhouse Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), scoring 11 objectives and 36 factors in 26 video games performed.

Related: 2023 Guide to the World Junior Championship

Rohrer is a succesful two-way winger who takes delight in pursuing puck carriers in transition and breaking apart opposition cycle performs. He is a powerful skater who makes use of his edges to shift into any course on a dime, with out dropping velocity, and continues to pursue his goal or create house when he has possession. He is utilized in all conditions however is particularly helpful on the penalty kill.

This might be Rohrer’s introduction to worldwide play as he joins Team Austria for the primary time at the WJC. Despite that lack of worldwide expertise, he’ll nonetheless be regarded to for management and two-way play as an 18-year-old NHL prospect. His expertise enjoying in North America might be relied upon to assist centerman Ian Scherzer on the highest line.

David Reinbacher 

Fans will need to preserve a watch out for David Reinbacher. He is a clean skating 6-foot-2 defender who’s already competing at the skilled stage in Europe. He is among the handful of returnees for Austria, coming off of two assists in 4 video games performed at the 2022 WJC, which means he factored into 50 % of the group’s scoring as a 17-year-old. The now 18-year-old right-hander performs a powerful offensive sport constructed off his mobility and puck motion, however may also use his dimension to deal with the bodily play of a lot older and stronger professionals.

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Reinbacher has climbed into Sportsnet’s projected first-round picks for 2023 making him his nation’s prime draft-eligible prospect. This season, as an alternative of becoming a member of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, he selected as an alternative to stay in Europe and play within the prime skilled league in Switzerland with the EHC Kloten group. In 28 video games he has performed a top-pairing position for lengthy durations whereas scoring two objectives and 14 factors. As such, search for him to play a major position for Austria in 2023, as a powerful efficiency might imply the distinction between relegation and a spot within the 2024 WJC.

Ian Scherzer 

Ian Scherzer is one other of Austria’s 2023 NHL Draft hopefuls. The 6-foot-0, 181-pound left-handed centerman has been enjoying for Sweden’s Rogle BK membership principally with their under-20 group the place he has three objectives and 7 factors in 18 video games performed. He is a returnee from the 2022 WJC Austrian membership the place he scored one goal and three factors in 4 video games (75 % of their whole offense). He did this as an underager, enjoying because the second youngest participant at the event in August the place solely Canadian phenom Connor Bedard was youthful.

Scherzer’s model is harking back to that of former Canadiens’ middle Tomas Plekanec. Like Plekenaec, he depends on his work ethic and his excessive hockey IQ to learn growing performs and react with the most secure high-percentage play in all three zones. Even although he continues to be solely 17 years previous, he might be regarded to as the highest middle and his efficiency might be important if the group desires to be aggressive.

Team Austria could not have a lot identify recognition, nevertheless it nonetheless has some intriguing prospects to control. While it’s a nation that might be in a battle to keep away from relegation, wonderful performances from their prime gamers could also be sufficient to permit them to stay within the prime tier of hockey nations. They will open the event on Dec. 26 towards Sweden.

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