Massive, smooth-skating blue-liner with polished defensive habits. Offensive tools need some work but could easily become a top-four defensive defenseman.
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December 2023 – Lian Bichsel made his AHL debut at the beginning of this season. Quickly showcasing his defensive and physical qualities. Due to the log jam on the Dallas Stars on the blue-line, Bichsel had the opportunity to play in the AHL and work on his offensive game. Shortly after the season started, he was getting time on the power play for the Texas Stars. However, Bichsel had an option in his contract to go back to the Swedish Hockey League to play with his former team. He exercised the option and is now back in the SHL, so an NHL call up will not be likely. Taylor Newby
October 2023 – Bichsel was among a few players that made it to the last round of cuts during the Dallas Stars training camp. He played well during the pre-season games, showing that he is capable of playing against players of the highest level. One of Bichsel’s greatest strengths is his physicality, which he was able to showcase well. Not only did he use his physical game to win puck battles and lay hits, he also found himself in the middle of scrums and sticking up for his teammates. The core of Bichsel’s game has always been elite defense with a lot of physicality. However, the Stars organization has been working to help him fine tune his offensive game. The Dallas Stars during pre-season and Texas Stars have been allowing Bichsel to run a power play unit. Because of the roster jam, Bichsel will spend a majority of the season in the AHL, but if he can use this time to find an offensive edge to his game, he will quickly become an elite two-way defenseman; something the Dallas Stars have been looking for. Should the Dallas Stars see any injuries to their defenseman, Lian Bichsel would be the expected call up. Taylor Newby
January 2023 – Bichsel recently had an appearance in World Juniors for Team Switzerland. There was never any question about Bichsel’s defensive game. But this tournament showed that even though he is a big, physical defenseman, he can handle the puck and handle it well. He was very strong on the rush and had impressive zone entries. He was even trusted in a 3v3 overtime, where he stole the puck, took it to the other end, won a battle on the boards and then got the assist for the game-winner. It seems there might be a lot of promise there to be a well-rounded defenseman. Taylor Newby
August 2022 – Dallas’ first-round selection, 18th overall in the 2022 draft, Bichsel is a promising young defenseman with shades of Moritz Seider. Big, strong and explosive, Bichsel is a catalyst on any team. Standing over 6-5, and weighing in above 200lbs, Bichsel’s skating is good for his size, however he has room to grow in that area. He has an understatedly good shot, that should be a good fit for North American ice. The Swiss defender split his 2021-22 season between the J20 National League and the SHL, proving effective in both. He was equally an important piece of Switzerland’s WJC team in the COVID-postponed tournament. If Bichsel works out, he could become a fantastic complement to the refined aggressive game of Miro Heiskenan, and should be a staple in Dallas’ top-four for years to come. Aaron Itovitch
July 2022 – The Dallas Stars have selected Bichsel with the 18th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
May 2022 – Bichsel spent the majority of his 2021-2022 campaign with Leksands in the SHL, earning a goal and two assists in 29 games of league play. He also scored a goal in eight Champions Hockey League matches, mostly focusing on the defensive side of the puck, and for good reason.
Although Bichsel is massive at 6-foot-5 and 216 pounds, he displays some solid skating foundations and quick feet which help him close gaps and utilize his exceptional reach to his advantage. He also reads defensive plays well, identifying his man and dealing with switches in coverage with intelligence and poise. He can throw the shoulder, poke-check forwards from afar, and generally makes life difficult for his opponents on the cycle. On the offensive side, there are improvements required, especially on the decision-making side, but Bichsel’s heavy shot could translate well to the next level. If he works on displaying patience on breakouts, using his mobility from the blue line to find better lanes, and joining the rush more often, Bichsel’s surprisingly good hands could be put to use more frequently. Hadi Kalakeche