Homecomer Hofmann aims to defend the title with EV Zug

In this issue: Grégory Hofmann wants to be champion again with EV Zug

Grégory Hofmann did not need a long warm-up period after his return from the USA to the Swiss National League in January. The attacker scored a goal in his first match for EV Zug against EHC Biel-Bienne. By the end of the regular season, he had made 17 appearances and 20 points (eleven goals, nine assists) with the team from central Switzerland.

With an average of 1.18 points per game, Hofmann has been the team’s most successful scorer since his comeback. With his final qualities, he made a decisive contribution to the fact that EVZ won the main round for the second time in a row and is well on the way to defending the championship title won last year.

It was not foreseeable in the summer that the 29-year-old winger would be back in the race for the Swiss championship in the coming weeks. Hofmann earned a spot on the NHL roster at Columbus Blue Jackets training camp and was a regular at the Ohio club. In February 2021, the Blue Jackets had secured the NHL rights to him. Those went to the Carolina Hurricanes, who drafted him 103rd overall in 2011 in the fourth round. However, the native of Biel never wore the shirt of the Raleigh representative.

[Similar: Krupp acts as a stabilizer and motivator for the sharks]

Hofmann was all the more pleased that his dream of the NHL came true ten years after the draft. He played a total of 24 games for the Blue Jackets and collected seven points (two goals, five assists).

In December, Hofmann returned to his wife in Switzerland for the birth of his first daughter. During this time, he made the decision to completely break off his involvement in the NHL. He asked the Blue Jackets to terminate his contract. The EVZ welcomed him with open arms.

Because he feels very comfortable with the reigning title holder, he recently extended his contract early until 2028. “It’s nice to be part of the team and the organization and to play in front of these great fans. I still have big goals with EVZ,” Hofmann said after extending his contract, which was originally scheduled to run until 2023.

General Manager Reto Kläy is happy that the left-handed shooter is staying in the club for the long term. “We are very happy about this strong sign from Grégory. He has a top attitude on and off the ice and will bring a lot of leadership to our team over the next six years,” he said on the club’s website.

Hofmann joined EVZ in the 2019/20 season. In 2020/21 he played a major role in the club being able to celebrate its second Swiss championship. In the regular season and the playoffs, he totaled 49 games and 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists). On average, he scored 1.12 points per game.

The attacker has his sights firmly set on defending his title. “In the last few years we have seen what is possible. It would be incredibly nice if we could win the championship again for our fans and the region. I would like to take on this challenge,” he emphasized.

With his speed and precise shot, Hofmann is a player who can make all the difference, especially in the crucial phase of the season. Just like in the previous playoffs, when he made EVZ champion in the third final game against HC Genève-Servette with a brace including the game winner.

[Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive content and NHL news!]

In Zug, Hofmann forms the parade row as a left winger together with center Jan Kovar and right winger Dario Simion. The trio has been heating up the competition in recent weeks and together they have scored 88 points.

At the start of this year’s playoffs, EVZ is the first in the regular season to face the winner of the pre-playoff pairing between Genève-Servette and HC Lugano. Should Hofmann and his teammates survive the quarter-finals, the winner of the duel series between the ZSC Lions and Biel-Bienne will be waiting for them in the semi-finals.