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Untouchable Baertschi looking to build on strong 2013 finish

Aug 14, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Sven Baertschi AP

From Kris Chucko to Matt Pelech to Greg Nemisz, the Calgary Flames have not had the most success with their first-round draft picks over the last decade.

In Sven Baertschi, they’re hoping that will change.

Baertschi was chosen 13th overall in 2011 after tearing up the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. Less than a year later, the Swiss winger had Flames fans chanting his name during a brief stint with the big club in which he scored three goals in five games.

But 2013 was more of a struggle, no thanks to a hip-flexor injury. The 20-year-old finished with just three goals in 20 games, and with one big lesson learned.

“I learned that you’ve got to earn it,” Baertschi said, per “They’re not going to give you everything, or anything, just because you’re a first-round pick. No one cares. They’re too busy. There’s too much at stake.

“But I know I belong here. I think it helps that I finished the season strong.”

Indeed he did, with all three of his goals, plus six assists, coming in his last seven games.

In a related story, Baertschi was one of just four Flames that general manager Jay Feaster said were untouchable at the trade deadline. The others were Curtis Glencross, Mark Giordano, and T.J. Brodie.

For Baertschi, his goals for next season start with a modest one: make the team.

“I’ve got to make sure I get my spot,” he said. “As a player, you never want to give up your spot. Last year, I got sent down. With that, I gave up a spot. I don’t want that to happen again.”

More Calgary Flames day on PHT:

Goalie Ramo is wild card for Calgary

Just how bad will the Flames be next year?

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    The kid is a sniper. He’s my personal pick for the Calder trophy. I believe he’s still eligible? He hasn’t played more than the limit- 25 games- in a season. If he develops like most scouts/experts think he could soon be the face of the Flames. Huge upside.

  2. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    You can replace the last decade with last 30 years, seriously look at their drafting record in the first round, some have become okay NHLers in other spots (Corey Stillman, Phaneuf, Derek Morris being some of the few) but the list is littered with players of such notable names as Fata, Sunblad, Muzzatti, Krahn, Irving, Kidd, Tkachuk (Daniel not Keith), Dingman, Mattson…the list goes on and on. The Flames have missed big (guys who either never made the NHL or were borderline players and bounced around) on probably 80% of their first round picks in the last 30 years which is an easy way to not succeed in the standings.

    Now having said hopefully Sven is the start of them turning that around, he’s got enormous offensive upside, the key will be whether any of the Flames centres can help him unleash it. My guess is Corbin Knight will be the first one given the chance at that.

  3. lordfletcher - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I was really mad when my boy Fletcher didn’t draft him but I guess Brodin worked out pretty well LOL (amazing pick) … but I will always love Baertschi for reasons I can’t explain.

    Best of luck kid, and kick Edmonton a$$!

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