Who's this guy? Sven Baertschi
Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: Langenthal, Switzerland
Drafted by the evil Calgary Flames with the 13th pick in the 2011 draft. Sven couldn't seem to gain any traction within their organization which led to Sven being sent to the other side of the mountains for the low, low cost of a 2nd round pick in this year's draft (53th overall).
Baertschi's acquisition gave the Canucks organization the title of 'team with the most active Swiss players' with 3 (Weber and Sbisa are the others). This is in addition to the other international title that we hold for most Danes (Jensen and Hansen)... It makes you wonder if our scouts spend a lot of time in lesser renowned parts of the hockey playing world or if they just want to have very diverse locker room pot lucks... Whichever it is, we're winning at diversity!
What'd he do?
He hasn't really been given much of an opportunity to show us what he's all about at the NHL level having only spent 3 games with the big club where he posted 2 goals and 0 assists. In a small sample size, Baertschi has put up 30 points in 69 NHL games over the course of 3 seasons.
So was he any good?
.67 goals per game is pretty amazing, but it's pretty unlikely that he can keep up that torrid scoring pace over a larger sample space.
Baertschi was given a fresh start when he joined our organization in March and showed that he's a solid fit by posting 7 goals and 8 assists in 15 games with the Comets. This level of production slowed slightly during the post season where he also put up 15 points, but it took him 21 games to reach that total.
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What'd we like?
He has a great knack for creating offense and has shown that in the AHL this year putting up 40 points in 51 games. This is right on par for a third year pro who torched the Western Hockey League for 179 points in 113 games with the dominant Portland Winterhawks.
Acquiring a former first round pick that's still on his ELC for a second round pick feels like a bit of a cherry pick by GMJB! If Baertschi ends up living up to his first round status, we've made out like bandits on this trade! So, I guess I like the trade that brought him to town.
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Cool. So what did we hate?
The knock on Sven has always been his defensive game. He has worked to improve this area, but this is most definitely what's keeping him from being an every day NHLer. Sven has become better in this area, but he still needs to focus on improving his back checking!
We really didn't get much of a look at Sven this year. That's a hateable offense in my books! On a team where we struggled to create offense at times, we chose to bury a noted 'goal manufacturer' in the AHL. Obviously this is related to the fact that he was exempt from waivers, but it would have been nice to keep him and get rid of a guy like, oh I dunno MacMillan... But we'll discuss B-Mac elsewhere (thanks Freddy Foreshadowing)!
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So what now?
Sven is an RFA and will not be waiver exempt next year which means that he's either going to make the team in the fall or find himself dealt for whatever we can get for him. This feels like the ideal candidate for a 1 year 'show me' deal for around $1 million dollars.