The Swiss ice hockey goal is currently causing quite a stir in North America and is aiming to land a job in the NHL.
When Akira Schmid stands among the defenders right from the start at the Utica Comets, the AHL team always celebrates winning — 8 times so far this season. With a catch share of over 95 percent, Bernese is currently statistically the best goalkeeper in the entire league.
Schmid’s athletic success is the reward for the risk the 21-year-old took three years ago in the summer. Once he came of age, he left the SCL Tigers, turned his back on family and home and followed the call of the New Jersey Devils. The team drafted him in the fifth round and lured him to North America.
With the stars on the ice
For three seasons, Bernays held the Spurs in the American Hockey League, the top junior league in the United States. His qualities did not go unnoticed by the Devils, who offered him a contract to enter the NHL until 2024 for that season. This allowed the Swiss to make preparations with the NHL notches, but they did not survive the last cut.
However, this time it was very beneficial for him, said the goalkeeper. He was particularly impressed by the fact that the ancient warriors had always been the first to train. Schmid says the shots are also harder and more accurate and the understanding of the game is higher. With Jonas Siegenthaler and Nico Hischier, he also found two of his countrymen in the team that supported him.
Diversity as a model for success
Now he is at the gate for the Devils Ranch team in Utica and is contributing to the perfect start to the season with his careers. At the top of the table in the Northern Division, Schmid shares a goalkeeper position with German-Canadian Under-20 World Champion Nico Daus.
Schmid sees no problem with the competition: “The season is long, and the situation with two substitutes takes the burden off our shoulders.” Schmid says you will be happy for the other one if he shows a good match. In terms of sports as well, the tactic seems to be working fully at the moment.
Bernays dreams of the NHL more than ever, but he’s taking the time to fulfill his dream. His 3-year contract acts as a planning anchor. In the meantime, he would like to gain more experience and mature more. Because Schmid knows: “Once I’m in the NHL, I want to stay there too.”
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