24-Year-Old Left Wing – Vancouver Canucks
Sven Baertschi Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract with Vancouver in June 2016 worth an average annual value of $1,850,000.
Baertschi (neck) participated in Friday's on-ice practice session, Jeff Paterson of TSN 1040 reports.
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Sven Baertschi: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Baertschi impressed in 69 games with the Canucks last season, notching 15 goals and 28 points. The 23-year-old could play alongside Bo Horvat or Brandon Sutter in 2016-17 and be in for a breakout campaign. The youngster has great speed and a terrific shot and will likely slot in on Vancouver’s second or third line, in addition to seeing power-play time. While he’s only got 138 NHL games under his belt, the Canucks inked him to a two-year contract extension and are confident in his abilities moving forward. The former 34-goal scorer in the WHL has the potential to make a strong impact in fantasy hockey, but he may need just a little more time.
Baertschi has had an up-and-down few years with Calgary, as he has struggled with the immense pressure and overwhelming expectations of being the 13th overall pick. The winger has, at times, had trouble adapting to the speed and toughness of the NHL, but keep in mind he is still only 21 years old. He is more of a finesse player, which can clash with team president Brian Burke's expectations of the Flames, so it's a mystery what Baertschi's role will be in 2014-15. He will certainly get a shot at making the Flames' roster in the fall, but he has to display an improved maturity and work ethic. We're not drafting until we see where things settle.
Baertschi struggled to adjust to the expectations and workload of the NHL early in 2012-13, as the highly prized prospect scored only one point in his first 13 games and he was sent down to the AHL. However, Baertschi caught fire down the stretch upon his recall, scoring at least a point in each of his last seven games. His demotion to the AHL seems to have sparked Baertschi and put a chip on his shoulder, which bodes well for his future. If he can continue his torrid pace from the end of last year, Baertschi could certainly (and quickly) become the best scorer for Calgary. He's likely a future star in the league and should put up 50 to 60 points in 2013-14.
Rarely has a five-game stretch of play excited a city like Baertschi’s in 2011-12. An emergency call-up in March, Baertschi scored three goals and had a plus-2 ratingin those five games and showed why he’s the Flames’ best prospect. It would be a big surprise to not see Baertschi start the season in a Flames uniform, as he tore up the WHL last season and did not look overmatched in the NHL. While it may take him a season or two to fully pick up the nuances of the NHL, he could be a burgeoning superstar and may be worth a flyer in late rounds.
The 13th overall pick in this past year's draft, Baertschi inked an entry-level deal in July. Turning 19 in early October, he has plenty of potential and will likely get a run with the big club during training camp. Keep an eye on this gritty winger with offensive upside, as the Flames are high on him.