Thursday, December 31, 2009

Luca Sbisa named to the Swiss Olympic team

Press Release

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes are very proud to congratulate defenseman Luca Sbisa (LOU-kaa Ss-BEE-zah) on his selection for Team Switzerland at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Sbisa is currently competing in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in the Regina and Saskatoon as Team Switzerland’s captain. This means he will hold the unique honor of being a CHL player and representing his country in both the World Juniors and Olympics in the same season. The Olympics in Vancouver will be his first and mark his third time donning his country’s colors in major competition after also playing in the 2008 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic. That season he was one of two players to participate in that tournament, as former Hurricanes forward Zach Boychuk represented Team Canada in the first of his two U-20 World Junior appearances. Sbisa has also played many tournaments at the U-18 level for Team Switzerland. Sbisa was reassigned to Lethbridge from the Anaheim Ducks this fall and in 96 WHL regular season games with the Canes he has scored 61 points (11G, 50A) and notched a career +15 plus/minus rating and 100 PIMs. He also proved himself as a WHL playoff performer; in 30 WHL Playoff games he has scored 18 points (5G, 13A) while posting a +8 plus/minus and 29 PIMs, leading all WHL d-men in scoring in the 08 playoffs.

He was one of two CHL Import Draft picks the Hurricanes made in 2007; the first was Finnish goaltender Juha Metsola. Sbisa went from being relatively unknown to being ranked in the Top 20 of North American Players by Central Scouting for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Sbisa was also a member of Team Red at the 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game. He was the recipient of the 2007-2008 Carl Trentini Memorial Award for the Hurricanes rookie of the year and was selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Sbisa signed an entry level NHL contract that fall and began the season as a member of the Flyers where he played 39 NHL games before being returned to the Canes at the end of last season and joining the Ducks during this past off season.

Don’t forget to tune into the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan, which will run until January 5, 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games take place in Vancouver, British Columbia from Feb. 12-28.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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