Aug 14, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT
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 NHL.com. “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:
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- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 26
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 28
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 40
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 68
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 61
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off 53
- Kane, Toews could’ve commanded $13.8M cap hits, says agent (83)
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (68)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)