You can’t truly judge a player’s potential in two seasons. This holds especially true in the NHL. So, when the Calgary Flames traded away Sven Baertschi to the Vancouver Canucks many Calgary faithful were left puzzled.
Baertschi is still a work in progress. Only 22, there is much to love about his offensive upside.
Drafted 13th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Baertschi didn’t live up to expectations in Calgary. Playing in 66 NHL games, Baertschi was only able to record 28 points. Given the amount of young talent in Calgary, it’s surprising a player with such a high pedigree couldn’t produce at the pro level.
The Flames gave him numerous chances to succeed. He flashed brilliance during the 2011-12 season when he scored three goals in five games. As a result, Calgary thought they had found their next franchise cornerstone.
Baertschi followed up his stellar NHL debut the following year, notching three goals and seven assists in 20 games. He also played exceptionally well with Calgary’s AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, putting up 26 points in 32 games. However, inconsistent plays has affected Baertschi, and he hasn’t been able to get back on track.
During the 2013-14 season he only managed to put up 29 points in 41 games for Abbotsford. It seemed that game-changing ability he possessed early on wasn’t there, and that has followed him into the current season.
Spending most of his NHL time in a bottom-six role for the Flames, Baertschi managed only four assists in 15 games. There simply wasn’t room for him on the team’s current roster and the team didn’t want to wait around for him to to figure things out.
Calgary received a 2015 second-round pick for Baertschi. However, Vancouver might be receiving a newly motivated player that wants to prove Calgary, and the world, he can get past the inconsistencies and live up to his potential.
Patience is a virtue, and that’s apparently something the Calgary Flames lack.