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Swiss National League (NL) 2020-21 Season Preview

Last updated: 22 Oct 07:06

National League Quickies

  • Established: 1938
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Teams: 12
  • Regular season games: 50
  • Reigning champion: SC Bern (2018-19 Champions)
  • Most titles: HC Davos, 31
Swiss NL 2020-21 Teams

The National League in Switzerland keeps the competition fresh with annual promotion and relegation possibilities. As last season was cut short prior to playoffs all the teams that participated in NL season 2019-20 have their spots for the 2020-21 season too. These are the 12 teams that are fighting for the championship in the National League.

  • HC Ambri-Piotta, Ambri
  • SC Bern
  • EHC Biel, Biel/Bienne
  • HC Davos
  • Fribourg-Gottéron, Fribourg
  • Geneve-Servette HC, Geneva
  • SCL Tigers, Langnau im Emmental
  • Lausanne HC
  • HC Lugano
  • SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
  • EV Zug
  • ZSC Lions, Zürich
NHL Players in The Swiss NL 2020-21

Due to the on-going pandemic the 2020-21 NHL season start is being pushed to January 2021. This means that quite a large number of NHL players have not played hockey since the spring of 2020 or they might’ve played a couple of games in playoffs this fall, but that’s it. This means that NHL teams are looking to loan their players to Europe for them to get in shape and used to playing the game again. This also adds both betting interest as well as pure entertainment value as the level of the game gets boosted with these individual players from the top league in the world.

EV Zug

  • Ryan McLeod, Edmonton Oilers
  • Tobias Geisser, Washington Capitals

Lausanne HC

  • Denis Malgin, Toronto Maple Leafs

HC Lugano

  • Philipp Kurashev, Chicago Blackhawks

Geneve-Servette

  • Damien Riat, Washington Capitals

SC Bern

  • Gaetan Haas, Edmonton Oilers

Langnau

  • Erik Brännström, Ottawa Senators

HC Davos

  • Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks (Not as loan, but Jumbo is looking to sign an NHL contract before the next season)

ZSC Lions

  • Tim Berni, Columbus Blue Jackets
Swiss NL 2019-20 Season

The 2019-20 season was cut short after the regular season as pretty much all other ice hockey leagues around the world due to the pandemic. All teams played their full 50 regular season games and the top 4 of the league were within 4 points of each other:

  • ZSC Lions, 91 points with 166 goals scored and +42 goal differential
  • EV Zug, 90 points with 147 goals scored and +23 goal differential
  • HC Davos, 89 points with 159 goals scored and +17 goal differential
  • Genève-Servette HC, 89 points with 140 goals scored and +24 goal differential

EHC Biel-Bienne was 5th with 78 points and the bottom feeders was SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers with 52 points and above them HC Ambrì-Biotta and SCL Tigers with 63 points each. Rapperswil-Jona Lakers got lucky as they were expected to lose their NL spot for the next season, but they got a lifeline now which they really need to use if now to have success next season and hold on to their spot in the major league.

Some interesting notes from the scoring leaders of last season in NL:

  • Pius Suter, the top point scorer of NL 2019-20 season was loaned to GC Küsnacht Lions who plays in Swiss League (tier 2).
  • Mark Arcobello, who placed 2nd in points left SC Bern after 4 seasons and joined HC Lugano (and was named captain of the team in his 1st season).
Swiss NL Season 2020-21

The National League season is scheduled to start on the 1st of October 2020. The Season schedule looks just like the previous ones and each team is going to play 50 regular season games prior to the playoffs. During the regular season teams get 3 points from a win, 2 points from OT/SO win and 1 point from OT/SO loss. After those 50 games we look at the standings and the top 8 go to playoffs in which they play a normal single elimination from quarter finals to semi finals to the grand finals. All playoff games are best of 7 -series.

  • The bottom 4 teams go into a “play-out” relegation tournament:
  • Each team retains their regular season points.
  • Each team plays 6 additional games between each other.
  • After all teams have played the 6 games, the top two keep their spots in the league.
  • Bottom two play a BO7 series with the loser facing the champion of the Swiss League (second highest league in Switzerland) in a BO7 series for a spot in the successive NL season.

As it stands at the moment the last round of regular season is to be played on the 22nd of March 2021 after which we normally have a few days break before the puck drops to start the playoffs. The NL 2020-21 season will definitely feature a lot of great hockey games as entertainment but also fantastic opportunities for punters to find an edge on the markets.

Best bonuses for Swiss NL betting

It’s not a secret that ice hockey punters tend to like betting with bonuses, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Betting with bonuses gives you a bit more liquidity that might breed some nice results in the long run. By making sure that you get all the best bonuses available you get the most bang for your buck too. There are risk free bets, free bets and deposit bonuses available throughout the season, and pretty much all operators have quite juicy welcome bonuses.

So make sure you visit our welcome bonus pages and special bonus page, pick the best welcome bonuses and then all the follow ups each bookie offers!

Best odds for Swiss NL betting

Betting is not just finding an edge, but also making sure that you are betting with the best odds available. As a fact a 0.05 difference might feel like nothing, but over a whole year or hundreds of bets, your total wins will be significantly higher than if you continuously play with lower odds. We here at betting.com are trying to make sure that you have all the best tools available for when you want to place bets. Our odds comparison tool is free to use and it operates 24/7. Before you place any bets make sure you give it a visit and double check that you are about to bet on the best available odds out there. This way you ensure that every time your bet wins, you get the most out of it.

If you are into ice hockey and betting on it, we recommend you to check out our other ice hockey season previews:

Favorites to Win Swiss NL 2020-21

Each sport and each season have their own favorites. Before the puck hits the ice for the 1st time to kick in the next season you already have an idea how the season could go. There are quite a few factors that affect the final score at the end of the season, but we can still come up with estimates. For this preview we picked two teams that are likely to go all the way and win the 2020-21 NL season:

ZSC Lions

  • 3x NL Champions during the 2010 era (2012, 2014, 2018)
  • Won the 2019-20 regular season
  • Biggest odds favorite to win 2020-21 season

The Zürich Lions had a somewhat quiet summer as the team saw very little changes, but to mention a few key transfers that took place:

  • Pius Suter, the point scoring leader from last season -> Chicago Blackhawks
  • Fredrik Pettersson -> IK Oskarshamn
  • Joni Ortio -> Barys Nur-Sultan

At the same time players like Garret Roe, Maxim Noreau, Denis Hollenstein and Patrick Greering stayed in Zürich for the 2020-21 season. To replace the spot that Ortio left open, Lions acquired Ludovic Waeber who played for Fribourg-Gotteron and HC Ajoie last season and he is looking to overthrow Lukas Flüerer away from the starting goalies position.

Possibly the biggest and most interesting transfer is the home coming of Sven Andrighetto, who played 5 seasons in NHL & AHL after which he spent last season with Avangard Omsk in the KHL. During his last season with Omsk, Andrighetto scored a solid 13 goals and 27 points in total in the 56 regular season games he played. He is definitely an upgrade to the ZSC Lions roster and as he is still only 27 years old he might turn out to be the most dangerous offensive player in the entire league.

The ZSC Lions’s core group is very strong. They have a solid defense who can also score quite a good amount of points throughout the season. That combined with their offensive power and good goaltending is a recipe for success. Is it their turn to get back on the championship train? If you believe so then:

  • Zürich Lions to win NL 2020-21 season with odds of 3.75+

EV Zug

  • Played in NL finals in 2017 and 2019, but lost both.
  • Placed 2nd in the regular standings in 2019-20 season
  • Were able to keep the most important players in the team
  • Got a couple of great new players over the summer so the lineup is even stronger than before.

Zug places 2nd in the standings at the end of the 2019-20 regular season, but as we have said quite a few times, that was it for the last season. Not much happened for or against Zug over the summer as the team was quite quiet during the off season in terms of transfers. They lost only one noteworthy player, Oscar Lindberg, who travelled to KHL and joined Dynamo Moscow for the 2020-21 season.

Zug has been able to hold on to their most important players which means you will see Gregory Hoffman, Jan Kovar, Lino Martschini, Raphael Diaz, Carl Klingberg, Santeri Alatalo and Erik Thorell skating in the Zug lineup. On top of that they were able to hold on to both of their goalies that pretty much sums up why Zug are amongst the favorites to win the entire thing. In my humble opinion I genuinely think that Zug is more likely to win than Lions.

Before we get sidetracked, Zug has been able to win NL once during it’s time since 1967. Their only championship is from the spring of 1998, so it would be about time for them to hoist the cup at the end of the season. If you believe they will do so, then:

  • Pick EV Zug to win NL with odds of 3.8+
Swiss NL 2020-21 Challenger

We picked one challenger for the 2020-21 National League season. We tried to go a little bit out of the box with this one and we think that they have a legitimate chance to win the championship, but obviously there are a lot of factors that have an effect before we even get to the playoffs. But without further ado, here is our NL 2020-21 season challenger:

Geneve-Servette HC

  • Tied as 3rd after 2019-20 regular season
  • Very strong core group in the team
  • Was able to keep all important players in the lineup
  • Added a few great players for the 2020-21 season.

Despite Geneve-Servette being considered as one of the better teams in NL they have not been able to find good success since their last finals appearance which happened in the spring of 2010. Geneve has never won NL championships and you can be sure that they are as hungry as ever to make that happen to conclude the 2020-21 season.

By far the biggest and most interesting signing Geneve-Servette was able to nail down is Linus Omark. The 33 year old Swedish magician has had enough of the KHL rinks and he signed a 2 year contract with Geneve-Servette last summer. Prior to joining the NL Omark played 401 KHL games in which he scored an impressive 106 goals and 353 points in total. This means that he has 0.88PPG average which makes him one of the best KHL forwards of the current era. It’s expected that he will be amongst the top point scorers throughout the season which will significantly aid Geneve in their chase for the championship.

Geneve-Servette’s last line of defence are their goalie tandem; Gauthier Descloux and Daniel Manzato. Descloux seems to be their #1 pick as the starting goalie since Robert Mayer left the team after last season. However they also signed Manzato who was Ambri-Biottas starting goalie last season with good numbers, so they have a healthy competition down below with two competitive goalies.

  • You can get 9 times the money for Geneve-Servette to win the championship, and that’s a pretty good bet to be made at this point.
Underdog of Swiss NL 2020-21

There are favorites, there are challengers, there are middle tier teams and then there are the underdogs or dark horses, whichever you prefer. Our underdog pick for the 2020-21 NL season is one you wouldn’t expect, but that’s also the beauty of it. Ice hockey is a very fast paced game where things happen in a blink of an eye. This means that in a single game anyone can win which provides opportunities during the regular season for underdogs to rise into the battle towards playoffs.

SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers

Rapperswil-Jona Lakers placed dead last at the end of the 2019-20 season and they were saved by the pandemic as they were about to go into the relegation play-ins as the worst team of the league. This means that they were in serious danger of getting relegated to Swiss League, but got saved by a miracle.

During the break before the 2020-21 season Lakers were semi active on the transfer market getting rid of quite a few bot 6 players while bringing in some quality talent:

  • Steve Moses from Jokerit (KHL)
  • Julian Payr from Ambri-Piotta
  • Vladimir Sobotka from Buffalo Sabres (NHL)

The team was also able to keep their top scorers from last season which means that they have guys like Kevin Clarke, Roman Cervenka, Dominik Egli, Andrew Rowe and Danny Kristo still in the lineup. With the three additions to the offensive core their point scoring ability has been enhanced quite significantly.

In quite a few previews that I’ve read a lot of people underestimate the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in my opinion. A lot of their movements on the transfer market is going unnoticed and I genuinely think that they are a playoff team for this season, which means that they can have a proper shot to win the championship. Because the team is not being valued almost at all you can get crazy odds for their cup win. As a reminder when it comes to underdogs and betting on them: It’s not expected that they can go all the way, but they have the potential to upset which makes this next betting tip which with a small stake it’s definitely worthy to at least take a closer look at.

  • SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers to win NL with odds of 65.0+
Author:

Teemu Maarela

Esports & Ice Hockey Specialist

Bio:

Teemu is an enthusiastic Finn who spent his childhood around ice hockey and video games, and he has 10+ years of experience with sports betting industry. Teemu specialises in analysing esports and ice hockey games. He contributes to Betting.com website in English, writing about his two passions - ice hockey and esports.
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