Meet Vinzenz Rohrer: Montreal Canadiens' Austrian Prospect At Men's World Hockey Championship

Vinzenz Rohrer will take on Kaiden Guhle and Team Canada on Tuesday, May 14th at the Men's World Hockey Championship.
Austria forward Vinzenz Rohrer
Austria forward Vinzenz Rohrer / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Vinzenz Rohrer spent two seasons in North America with the Ottawa 67's, which led the Montreal Canadiens to draft him with the 75th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Rohrer used this accolade to book a spot in his first international tournament, playing with Austria in the 2023 World Junior Championship. He registered three points in five games.

Rohrer opted to return to Europe for the 2023-24 season after tallying 97 points in 118 OHL games. He recorded seven goals and 12 assists in 49 regular season games with the Zurich Lions alongside ex-Canadiens Sven Adrighetto and Yannick Weber.

The successful rookie season in Switzerland allowed him to debut with the Men's national team at the World Championship, and he's made the most of it so far, getting two assists through his first two games.

Rohrer's Professional Debut

Rohrer's seven goals and 11 assists in his first professional season is no small feat, especially considering the talent in the Swiss League. It is one of the world's top leagues, and his team, Zurich, has one of the grandest budgets outside North America. Zurich runs their team as closely to NHL-style as any other, so the amount of experience Rohrer will get is encouraging for the Canadiens. 

Rohrer wasn't the most physical forward in the OHL, but he's been working on his strength with the staff in Zurich. He wants to be able to compete against grown men, and it's clear with this mindset that he has sights set on debuting with the Montreal Canadiens one day. Sometimes, when a prospect goes from the CHL back to Europe, there are questions of whether he will ever return to North America, but I don't think that will be an issue with Rohrer.

Rohrer developed a relationship with David Reinbacher during the season, as Reinbacher played on one of Zurich's rivals. However, the connection with former Habs players on his team has motivated him the most. In an interview with Habs Eyes On the Prize, Rohrer talked about a team meal he and his teammates had in Barcelona. 

"“I mean, it was pretty funny the first time the team was together with all the imports and everything. We went on a trip to Barcelona. Then we were sitting at the table and Weber was sitting in front of me, and Andrighetto was sitting on the right of me and then we talked and obviously the NHL came as a question at some point. Then they asked me, because they didn’t know me well back then, ‘you’re drafted right?’ and I’m like third round to Montreal. And both said the same thing. ‘Oh, really? We were picked [by] Montreal in the third round too.’ There we were three of us that were picked from Montreal in the third round. That was a funny, funny coincidence.”"

Vinzenz Rohrer

Vinzenz Rohrers ETA

There's a question of whether Rohrer will try to come to North America next season and accelerate his career. He would likely spend his first couple of seasons in Laval, as he gets used to the pro game on North American ice. Rohrer is accustomed to playing on North American ice from his days in the OHL, but it'll be a transition to the AHL after playing pro in Europe.

Rohrer also spoke in the interview with Habs Eyes On The Prize about his mindset for playing in the NHL. He respects his commitment to Zurich and the decision-making of the Canadiens, but he is excited to return to North America. 

"“I mean, it’s something you don’t think about too much before the playoffs, obviously. I mean, obviously, my goal is the Montreal Canadiens, but for now it’s the Zurich Lions to win the championship. But if you see the big picture again, I want to take the next step obviously. There are many [factors] so I have to talk with Zurich, have to talk with Montreal, got to talk with my agent, got to talk with everyone that guides me and surrounds me. Tough to say, but obviously Montreal is the boss in some way.”"

Vinzenz Rohrer

Rohrer may spend another season in Switzerland, but if the start to his World Championship is any indication, he may be ready for the North American game next season. It may take another year or two, but be prepared because Rohrer is coming and will eventually challenge for a Canadiens' roster spot.