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Lian Bichsel, 2022 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars
Photo credit: TSN

Stars first-rounder banned from representing home country

Published April 24, 2024 at 4:59 PM

Lian Bichsel, a first-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2022, has been banned for two years from representing Switzerland in any international competitions.

19-year-old defenceman Lian Bichsel's scouting report from EliteProspects 2022 NHL Draft Guide states he plays with an energy "that will endear him to any coach." For the coach of the Swiss National Team, that energy isn't enough, and he's banned bichsel from representing Switzerland at any international competition for the next two years.

According to Sport.ch, Bichsel, who they call the country's best defensive prospect, twice turned down an invite to the World Juniors. Swiss National Team coach Patrick Fischer has invoked his right to bar Bichsel from getting an invite to the World Championships for the next two years.

"He won't be an issue until and including the 2026 home World Cup. It would be very difficult to get him into the team. Many players don't understand that he has let us down twice."

Fischer added an invite to the senior men's team likely would have gotten a yes from Bichsel, and he doesn't like that at all.

"If it had been about the senior national team, Lian would probably have come. And that's not right. If I had called him up, I would have lost credibility and face with the team."

Bichsel did give reasons for his refusal to play in the last two World Juniors. While he has played with the Texas Stars of the AHL, he's spent most of the past two seasons in the SHL in Sweden. In last year's case, he had just started playing for Rogle and said it would be harder to integrate himself into the team if he left to play at the WJC. Before that, Bichsel wanted to be exempt from part of the training for the tournament. The Swiss team said no, so Bichsel declined.

Bichsel was drafted 18th overall by the Dallas Stars in 2022. He started 2023-24 with Texes in the AHL, but played just 16 games before heading to Sweden. He had a goal and 6 assists in those games. Bichsel's ban ends in 2026, when Switzerland hosts the World Championships.
April 24   |   152 answers
Stars first-rounder banned from representing home country

What do you think of the two-year ban for Lian Bichsel, draft pick of the Dallas Stars?

Seems fair5536.2 %
I don't like it4026.3 %
I'm not sure5737.5 %
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