Kris Schmidli has firmed up his plans for the Christmas season.
The second-year Swiss-born forward for the Kelowna Rockets has been named to Team Switzerland for the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal.
“It’s always a special feeling to represent your country,” said Schmidli, a native of Zurich, SUI. “To be able to wear the Switzerland jersey…it makes me feel really good.”
Schmidli will join Team Switzerland in Toronto when the team flies to North America and will play in two pre-tournament exhibition games as the Swiss will play Slovakia Dec. 21 and Canada Dec. 23 before the tournament begins.
Schmidli says his game has improved since joining the Rockets at the start of last season and he credits his time in the WHL for the chance to represent his country.
“For sure. I have learned a lot here,” he said. “I have more compete every night and I know what I have to do every night.”
In 25 games with the Rockets this season, Schmidli has five goals, 12 assists in 27 games and has a plus-10 rating. Last year as a rookie in the WHL, Schmidli scored nine goals and added 26 assists.
Meanwhile, the Rockets could have at least one more player away for the holiday season. Captain Madison Bowey is a serious candidate to make Canada’s team for the WJC in Toronto and Montreal.
The Team Canada final selection camp is set for next month, with the WJC set to begin on Boxing Day.