The tumultuous relationship between the Calgary Flames and supremely talented (yet inconsistent) prospect Sven Baertschi is now over. The 2011 first round pick has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a second round draft pick (likely in the 2015 draft), according to several reports.
CGY gets 2nd round pick for Baertschi.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 2, 2015
Baertschi was one of Jay Feaster’s prize picks, back in the 2011 NHL Draft where he went 13th overall. However, Baertschi just couldn’t even get over the hump and transition from “promising prospect” to “NHL player.” With Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk and a bunch of other wingers in the pipeline, the Flames have now cut bait with him.
Baertschi never quite fit in with Calgary, perhaps due to some inconsistency in his 200-foot play leading to rumoured friction with the coaching staff. He was used primarily as a third liner, which admittedly doesn’t fit his skill-set, through Josh Jooris started in a similar role and was able to work his way out of it. Brian Burke’s public assessments of Baertschi weren’t all that glowing – the highlight was Burke noting there were three zones on the ice and Baertschi only played strongly in one of them – and the hope was likely Baertschi would improve his defensive play.
The judgment was probably made that Baertschi was what he was at this point, and that a draft pick was probably worth giving both parties a fresh start. He put up 28 points in 66 NHL games with the Flames – including three goals in his first brief call-up – and 76 points in 107 AHL contests with Abbotsford and Adirondack. That first expectations-raising call-up likely destined him for failure in the organization, as he never quite lived up that promise as a pro – and by sheer coincidence, the nail in his coffin was probably Johnny Gaudreau stepping in and exceeding his own lofty expectations.
Best of luck to Sven Baertschi in the Canucks organization.