Feb 8, 2014
For a player that wasn’t on any team’s radar prior to the beginning of the current NHL season, Simon Moser’s journey is nothing short of spectacular. Nine months after first being spotted by the Predators at the 2013 IIHF World Championships, Moser scored his first career point only three games into his NHL career.
Coming on the heels of a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, Moser’s first point, an assist on Predators forward Viktor Stalberg’s first period goal, was an afterthought to the end result.
“I’m disappointed we lost two important points on the race for the playoffs. I’m not happy at all,” said Moser.
What’s next for Moser is what most can only dream of: a trip to Sochi to play for the Swiss men’s ice hockey team during the 22nd Winter Olympic Games. Playing alongside Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, Moser is looking forward to his chance to represent Switzerland.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s an honor to play for your country. We want to play good, we have a good team. I’m looking forward to it,” said Moser.
Moser’s journey to the NHL started last May, where Nashville head coach Barry Trotz was tipped to the potential of Moser being an NHL-caliber player.
“When I was at the World Championships, a couple people told me about Simon Moser, so I started watching him. Obviously Josi was over there and I have some good friends that are really involved in Swiss hockey. They sort of said, ‘Watch this guy, he might have a chance. He’s not the prettiest European player to watch, sometimes, but he’s got a little bit of a North American game to him,’” said Trotz. ”I watched him through the World Championships, I thought he was very smart, he’s got a smart stick and he understands the game. He’s got lots of detail.”
Coming into Nashville’s training camp in September, Moser was given an opportunity to tryout for the team. A stand-out among the other invitees, Moser nearly earned himself a place in the starting lineup.
“We offered him a tryout and coming out of training camp, if we didn’t have so many contracts, he may have started. He might have been sort of that Joel Ward type of guy who came out of nowhere and made the hockey team. He was right there, but because of our numbers and where they were, we had to send him down,” said Trotz. “He’s made a commitment to play in the National Hockey League, which is really good and now he’s going to the Olympics. He’s a guy who I think is going to get better and better as we go along here. I think he has a chance to be a pretty solid NHLer”
Moser’s hard work has earned him an NHL contract, a trip to the Olympics, and his first career point. Although he’s preparing for Sochi, Moser already has his mind set on his goal once returning from the Olympics.
“Whatever happens after the Olympics, my goal is to play in the NHL and to deserve a one-way contract,” said Moser. “That’s my next goal after the Olympics, to keep working and to deserve that. We’ll see what happens if I’m playing in Milwaukee or here. Just keep playing.”
Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua