The Flames Fifteen: #1 – Sven Baertschi



Like it was going to be anyone else.

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What hasn’t already been said about the gem that is Sven Baertschi? Well, the answer to that is probably “nothing”, but I’m gonna truck on regardless.

Baertschi, drafted 13th overall last summer, lit it up in his draft year – playing in 66 games, he notched 34 genos and 51 apples in 66 games. Obvously, that is not an insignificant amount of scoring for a teenager playing his first season on a new continent, and he was ranked quite highly.

However, on draft day, Baertschi ended up falling a few spots to 13 amid concerns about his size (at the time aboout 5’10 and 175) and age (late 1992 birthday, making him older then many of his drafted peers). That fall worked out swimmingly for Jay Feaster and company.

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Baertschi had a great first half of the season, scoring at more than a PPG pace up until the World Junior Championships, where he was the unquestioned star for the Swiss team… for about 2 games. Baertschi took a hit at some point of the second period and was knocked out of the tournament with a “light concussion”. Baertschi would also miss a few games of WHL action before returning to the lineup with a 4-point performance.

Player   Kent   Justin   WI   Scott   VF   Arik [NC]
Sven Baertschi   1   1   1   1   1   1

*Reminder – The evaluators were asked to rank players, and we sorted the rankings via a simple point scale-number 15 on each list got one point, while number 1 on each list got 15. The criteria for who was included was pretty simple: players the Flames control who are 23 and under (excluding Mikael Backlund, since he’s already a bona fide NHLer).

Eventually, he got the call to play for the big club – and he impressed, scoring three goals in five games. After that short stint, however, he was sent back down to avoid the first year of his ELC activating. Sven would finish the season scoring at an unreal 2 point per game pace – 47 games and 94 points in the dub.

It’s been a long time since any of us have seen this skilled of a prospect in Flames silks – dude is slick as can be with the puck, and scouts have long lauded his two-way performance. Of course, there are a couple issues – the first being his crash and bang style of play, which could potentially lead to injuries… and the concussion, or, rather, potential for concussions – are always a larger issue after you’ve had one.

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I don’t think I have to say much more. Honestly, he may be the first legit reason we’ve had to be excited in 3 or 4 years. Baertschi will have a long and productive career – and personally, I can’t wait for him to get started for real.

This kid is ready for primetime.  

The List

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Player   Kent   Justin   WI   Scott   VF   Arik [NC]   Final Rank
Sven Baertschi   1   1   1   1   1   1   1
TJ Brodie   2   2   2   3   3   2   2
John Gaudreau   4   3   3   4   2   3   3
Max Reinhart   3   4   4   6   5   4   4
Leland Irving   6   5   8   2   7   6   5
Roman Horak   5   8   6   8   9   7   6
Michael Ferland   8   7   7   7   6   11   7
Lance Bouma   10   9   5   14   4   12   8
Markus Granlund   7   6   0   10   13   8   9
Bill Arnold   11   11   0   11   8   5   10
Greg Nemisz   9   13   0   5   15   15   11
Paul Byron   12   10   0   12   11   9   12
John Ramage   14   12   0   0   12   10   13
Chris Breen   0   15   0   13   0   14   14
Tyler Wotherspoon   0   14   0   0   10   0   15

  • RexLibris

    Whoa, hold on a second here.

    Kent said the #1 spot was going to be a rejuvenated, 20-year old Iginla.

    I noticed that Minnesota drafted a Christoph Bertschy (centre, 158th overall). So now they have a Granlund and a Bertschy (different spelling, obviously). Interesting.

    • Big Ell

      They just want to be like us… Maybe they should get some really old vets and let them age to perfection and fight nail and tooth to keep them there as long as possible diminishing their value?

  • And just think, we could’ve had some guy named Zemgus Girgenson setting Baertschi up for a pile of goals in the immediate future. But, Feaster knows best, and we got a boatload of the next Gretzky in Jankowski (at least, according to Feaster). Wouldn’t want to question the wisdom he holds, especially after that Baertschi pick last year, woo eee.

  • supra steve


    Feaster has made it quite clear that Wisebrod was the main push behind the Jankowski pick, though obviously some kind of consensus must have been reached with the scouting staff as well (Button reportedly sent JW to see Jankowski). Knowing not a whole lot about him (or Zemgus), I’m looking foreward to learning more over the coming months/years. But anyone who tells me (today) that the Flames took the wrong guy, is full of it. Let’s talk again in 5-10 years when things might clear up a little on the merits of this choice.

    Some were rooting for selection of players other then Sven last spring, not too many are disapointed now. But the absolute truth (of any pick) only becomes clearer after several years. Did the Flames make the right call? I honestly don’t know. Anyone that says otherwise, should rethink their position.

  • Big Ell


    Girgenson was projected by scouts to be a good second or perhaps third line center.So you either think Baertchi is also a second liner or you believe Girgenson is a first liner

  • everton fc

    Still think Reinhart should be #3, Gaudreau #4…

    Feaster better hope Wesibrod kbnows what he’s doing. I have my doubts.

    Feaster never drafted well in Tampa because he surrounded himself with the wrong people. Could this be an encore performance? Time will tell. Weisbrod is a hockey guy, familiar with the U.S., especially their collegiate ranks…

    Still, I liked Girgensons…

    Jankowski seems a decent kid. Jay said 10 years from now, this kid will be the best pick of this draft. Here’s his post-draft interview, and Girgensons; Girgensons certainly seems like a man. Very mature. Confident, but not cocky. Again, time will tell if the Sabres fleeced us, or Wesibrod found a diamond in the sand.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Lotta hate out there for the Jankowski pick. I’ll reserve judgment, but it is interesting to note that around half of the 15 on the above list (and 4 of the top 6) were either drafted or traded under Feaster’s reign and what’s it been? Less than two years?

    That is absolutely CRAZY that all those years of Sutter drafting/trading yielded only 8 of the top 15 prospects currently in the Flames system.

    We’re definately going in a ‘different’ direction. Whether it’s better or not is still up for debate.

  • Big Ell

    Is there any way we can get a list of the fellas who din’t make the list? I am curious about #13 and #15 from Kent Wilson. Where is Brossoit? He’s gotta be better than Breen.

  • Emir

    @Bean-counting cowboy

    since I’m sure someone will ask, I’d put jankowski 4, bumping breen out.

    other then that, I don’t think I’d rank any of the other prospects taken in this draft.

  • Emir

    @Big Ell

    brady lamb, joey leach and brossoit also had points.

    keep in mind that I calculated all this stuff in early april, so I’m sure if we did it again tomorrow the rankings (maybe aside from the top-3) would look completely different.

    • Yeah, with all that’s happened since we submitted our lists it seems like forever.

      There wouldn’t be huge changes on my list but I would include Brossoit and Lamb in the 10-15 range and maybe jumble a couple picks inside the top 8. I mean, I ranked Irving 2nd and then he was beat out by a 26 year old journeyman for the AHL gig….

  • Reidja

    Can’t wait to see Sven in the big club line-up.

    That said, let me be the one to say: We will probably rush Sven and therefore his first season will be either disappointing or cut short due to injuries.

    Alright, back to the Svenmania!

  • xis10ce

    I can’t remember who, but an actual scout contributed to this list n’est pas? Now that it’s all done with and his ranking are out also can we say what his picks where in another column, or do we have to still “back-calculate” his rankings?

  • @Kent

    wouldn’t it be different now with the Jankowski pick? (and, arguably, Sieloff and Kulak, maybe. Pronman liked Gordon too). Like Jankowski or not, no one can think enough of the Flames system to not have him in the top 10 or even 5. The rankings of Pronman’s now would be at least somewhat different than what was used for the purposes of these articles, would it not?

  • Just wanted to say thanks to the FN gang for this little series of posts, they were excellent… and, it was fun to take part.

    I’ll probably do a small series of posts outlining my list (an updated list) on M&G sometime this week.