2 years ago

2019 IIHF WC Preview. Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland

It’s that time of year again. The 2019 edition of the IIHF World Championship is upon us. To celebrate that, Fanteam is launching a series of daily tournaments which will run up until the finals have been played. Sure enough, we at Draftgym could not ignore this large event and have come up with a series of tips dedicated to each team taking part in this year’s world forum.

In this series, we are going to take a look at elite and value picks from each team. Our today's targets are the Czech Republic, Finland, and Switzerland.

Czech Republic

Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

The Czech Republic's roster is not full of star players, and a rather weak one, but there are still some offensive threats we have to pick from. Overall, I don't' see the Czech Republic winning the tournament (even if Boston' players join later), but their assets can be used efficiently in a group stage.

Elite forwards

Jakub Voracek is by far the best forward of the current roster of the Czech Republic. Voracek had a good season for the Philadelphia Flyers collecting 66 points (20 goals and 46 assists ) in 78 games. He will play a crucial role in man-advantage situations and should earn lots of points.


Michael Frolik is another guy that has great experience of playing on the highest level. Frolik is averaging half a point per game for his team - the Calgary Flames, but as we know, he is burdened with defensive duties there a lot.

In the national team, he will definitely play more on the offense, given the deficit of talented forwards in the squad. Frolik and Voracek will likely play together in the top line and thus make for a solid mini-stack option.

Value forwards

In this category, we probably have to consider the Tampa Bay Lightnings' player Ondrej Palat (34 points in 64 games this season). Palat currently doesn't have decent partners on his line, so it would be better to use him as a one-off, depending on his price tag.

Elite D-man

Filip Hronek will be the number one defenseman for the Czech Republic team. Hronek has great offensive power and will quarterback the top power-play unit.

He played well for the Detroit Red Wings this year, particularly towards the end of the season (2 goals and 5 assists in his last 6 games).

Value D-man

The value option here is another Philadelphia Flyers' player Radko Gudas.

It remains to be seen whether he will feature on the power-play, but he still provides offensive threat even at even strength, having accumulated 20 points in his 77 games for the Flyers this season.

Additionally, Gudas loves to make hits (sits in top 10 in the entire NHL this season) which earn you points on FanTeam.


Photo by Christian Bruna/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Finland has one of the weakest squad among the favorites, and I do not see them advancing deep into the playoffs. Anyway, let's have a look at some players we can use in our lineups.

Elite forwards

I see only one elite forward in Finland roster - Kaapo Kakko. Potentially first overall pick at the upcoming 2019 NHL entry draft, he is Finland's main hope.

Kakko had a great season in SM-Liiga, having posted 22 goals (a record for first-year draft eligibles) and 16 assists in 45 games. This young winger is impressive and certainly could shine at the World Championship.


Value forwards

Kunlun Red Star' forward Veli-Matti Savinainen doesn't possess high numbers at club level, but the things are changing dramatically when it comes to playing for the national team.

He had 4 goals and 4 assists during the World Championship in 2018, and one year earlier he had 3 goals and 4 helpers. His place in top-6 is almost locked, as well as in power-play.

Sakari Manninen is another player from the KHL that deserves to be called a value option. He had a great season for Jokerit (48 points in 64 games) and is in a good form (3 points in two recent games in Euro Hockey Tour).

It seems like Manninen and Savinainen will play together in the second line, thus you have to stack them, particularly against weak opponents.

Elite D-man

Finland doesn't have big names in their defense, but some players certainly deserve our attention. As it stands right now, Mikko Lehtonen will quarterback the top power-play unit.

His stats for the national team in Euro Hockey Tour are pretty solid: 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games and playing alongside Kakko should help him get on the scoresheet.

Value D-man

Those who play DFS in SM-Liiga should know Oliver Kaski very well, the league's best scoring defenseman.

Kaski racked tremendous 19 goals (the runner-up defenseman has 11 goals) and 32 assists in 59 games this season. He also should have PP duties and thus collect some extra points.


Photo by Petr David Josek/AP/Shutterstock

As always, Switzerland is one of the so-called 'dark horses' of the tournament. The presence of Nashville Predators' defenseman Roman Josi provides hope for the Swiss, but their offensive options are pretty limited.

Elite forwards

A 20-year old Nico Hischier is the main stud in the offense of this Switzerland team. The New Jersey Devils' forward had a good season, by accumulating 47 points in his 69 games.

I expect him to play around 23-25 minutes per game and thus multi-point games are to be expected from him.

Value forwards

Another player from the NHL - Kevin Fiala - will partner Hischier in the top line. Fiala doesn't have the productiveness that Hischier has, but he is still a pretty talented forward. He is averaging 0.5 points per game in the NHL and doesn't hesitate to shoot.

Aside from Hischier and Fiala the Switzerland team doesn't possess any reliable offensive assets, so you probably have to be content with Hischier, Fiala and their linemate (whoever it is).

Elite D-man

Roman Josi - this is a guy that needs no introduction. 30 minutes of ice-time, a ton of shots, goals, assists - this is what I expect from Josi.

I plan to use him in every given slate and highly recommend that to you. Josi will return double-digit fantasy points, I guarantee it.



As you can imagine, Switzerland doesn't have another guy in their defense nearly as good as Roman Josi. Thus, the rest of the defensemen should be avoided.



Khan, a Ph.D. student in Economics, loves studying advanced sports analytics and using it to his advantage in DFS. Having started to play daily fantasy sports in 2017, he currently has a net profit of over 70000 euros. Sits in the top-5 of DFS players in Europe, finished 3rd in FanTeam's WCOFF 2018 and WCOFF 2020.