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Switzerland continues to improve as a hockey nation, and the continued production of high-end draft prospects is evidence of that. After seeing Nico Hischier go number one overall in 2017, the Swiss have produced solid prospects in Philipp Kurashev and Nando Eggenberger for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Eggenberger has been playing for Davos in the Swiss NLA, the top men’s league in the country. He put up three goals and five points in 36 games. Eggenberger also added five points in five Champions Hockey League games, and two points in four games in the Swiss Cup. Eggenberger has represented his country at a number of events on the international stage including the Ivan Hlinka tournament, the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, and the World Junior Championships. He was named a top three player on his team at the 2017 Under-18s and was named Team Captain for this year’s World Juniors.
Nando Eggenberger Scouting Report
Left Wing/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born October 7th, 1999 — Chur, Switzerland
Height 6’2″ — Weight 185 lbs [188 cm / 84 kg]
Eggenberger is a good skater. He has a strong first step and very good acceleration. While his top-end speed is not elite, it is still very good. Eggenberger can beat a defender to the outside and get to the net. He also has good agility and edgework, showing the ability to make quick cuts and weave through traffic. Eggenberger has good balance and power at the junior level but must continue to get stronger for this to translate against men. Against his peers, he is able to fight through checks and get to the front of the net and is strong in winning battles along the boards.
Eggenberger has good size at 6-foot-2-inches tall. He uses that size to play a power game, getting to the front of the net, where he screens goalies, tips in pucks, and pounces on rebounds. He is also very strong on the wall, winning battles for pucks and extending possession in the cycle game. Eggenberger gets in quickly on the forecheck and pressures opposing defenders into making mistakes. He is strong on the puck and his lower body strength gives him excellent balance. Eggenberger has decent vision and can set up a linemate out of the cycle.
He is more of a goal scorer than a playmaker though. Eggenberger has a good wrist shot, and his release is quick and deceptive. He can fool goaltenders from further out. He can use a defenceman as a screen on the rush, as they back off to respect his speed. Eggenberger also has a good snapshot and one-timer. He even has a good backhand.
Eggenberger brings a tenacious work-ethic in all three zones and is strong in his own end as well. He supports the defence down low and provides back-pressure against the rush. Eggenberger uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. When one is created, he is able to quickly transition to offence. Eggenberger is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. He has been an effective penalty killer at the international level.
Projection and Comparison
Eggenberger is an interesting case. The package of skills is there, but for whatever reason, it has not translated to production for Davos. While it is often tough for teenagers to score in men’s leagues, Eggenberger’s lack of production is still a bit concerning. It is hoped that he can put those tools together and become and effective scorer at the domestic level. The team that drafts Eggenberger may have a bit of a project on their hands, but if the development goes well, he could be a two-way top-six forward at the NHL level. Eggenberger’s game is reminiscent of Loui Eriksson, but this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nando Eggenberger that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BUFFALO, NY – JANUARY 02: Nando Eggenberger #22 of Switzerland during the second period of play in the Quarterfinal IIHF World Junior Championship game at the KeyBank Center on January 2, 2018, in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images Sport)