At this year’s trade deadline, the Calgary Flames shockingly moved former first-round prospect Sven Baertschi to the division rival Vancouver Canucks. The Flames received a second-round pick back, which is pretty decent compensation given Baertschi’s fall from grace. Having said that, he could be an absolute steal for Vancouver if he reaches the potential he showed in the minors and with the Portland Winterhawks.
Baertschi is a pure sniper when he’s on his game and has shown an amazing ability to exploit holes in the defense to get himself in position to score. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to see Baertschi at some point ending up on a line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, enjoying the benefits of their innate ability to create in the offensive zone. There is still a ways to go to get there, but I really feel this change of scenery could be clean slate needed for the Swiss winger’s career to take off.
This year’s deadline was filled with former first-round picks being moved as they had reached the “change of scenery” phase of their careers. Many of them had yet to reach their potential with the team that drafted them. Baertschi, Jordan Caron, Brett Connolly and Zack Phillips highlight that portion of the deadline, and Baertschi has the potential to be the best of that lot.
If he does, look for the Flames to be haunted as he’ll be doing his damage within the division showing the Flames what they’re missing.