The Portland Winterhawks fell to the Edmonton Oil Kings in game 7 of the WHL finals last night, ending what is likely one of the best seasons by any Flames prospect in the last two decades. Former 13th overall pick Sven Baertschi led the league in scoring in the post-season (34 points) and would have run away with the regular season title except for injuries and call-ups.
Back in February I looked at Baertschi’s splits in terms of % of offense at even strength, power play and total team output. This is a quick way to determine whether a player is overly reliant on either the PP or on a strong team for his scoring. Here is how Baertschi’s regular season shook out:
- Total points: 94
- Points-per-game: 2.0
- Even strength points: 54
- Power play points: 35
- Short-handed points: 5
- Total team offense: 222
- ES%: 60.7
- PP%: 39.3
- TEAM%: 42.3
- NHLE: 49.0
This is all good news. Baertschi is the first Flames prospect I have seen account for 40+% of the team’s total scoring in his 18-19 year old season. Greg Nemsiz, in contrast, was at 25% as a teen for Windsor. Ryan Howse managed 33.4% of the Bruins offense in his season after being drafted, but only 50% of his scoring came at even strength.
Baertschi was a central figure in Portland’s offense and he did most of his damage at 5on5. There are no red flags here.
Furthermore, Baertschi’s NHLE (NHL equivalency) is the highest I’ve seen for a Flames prospect since I started calculating it a few years ago and is likely the highest amongst the 2012 draft class (Jonathan Huberdeau was close at 47.8). For those who are unfamiliar, NHLE is calculated by using a translation factor to determine how much offense in a given, lower league is "worth" in the NHL. Most decent forward prospects fall in the 30-35 range in terms of NHLE. Only the very best prospects tend to crest 45 as teenagers.
Sven Baertschi had the highest point-per-game rate in the CHL this season despite being a teenager. He was in on nearly half of his team’s scoring while he was in the line-up and more than 60% of his offense came at even strength.
Pencil him onto the big club’s line-up next year. This dude is ready for prime time.