Canucks’ Baertschi Improving With Comets


At the NHL Trade Deadline the Vancouver Canucks acquired former Calgary Flame Sven Baertschi for a 2nd round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. It had been discussed by Flames General Manager Brad Treliving and Baertschi before and on Monday the 2nd, Baertschi wanted to play somewhere better for his development.

“Between me and my agent, the goal was to find a solution, ‘How do I get to play in the NHL?’ ” Baertschi told the Calgary Herald after the trade had been made,   “We were just trying to find a solution and for me, personally, in Calgary at some point it just didn’t seem to work anymore. But it wasn’t like we called and were like, ‘OK. We want to get out of here.’ ”

This was a good decision for Baertschi and his agent. Obviously Baertschi wants to play in the NHL sooner rather than later, and he has the best chance at doing that with a team other than the Flames. They have a fairly deep prospect pool on the left side, which is Baertschi’s natural position. At the top sits Johnny Gaudreau who is one of the best rookies in the NHL this year. There is no question that Baertschi could not out play Johnny Gaudreau.

Would there be a depth spot on the 2nd or 3rd line for Baertschi to play? Possibly. After Gaudreau the Flames have guys like Émile Poirier, who has shown a lot of promise during his stint in the NHL, and Morgan Klimchuck, who is having a good year in the WHL. The problem is Baertschi is in a “play now” mode, in terms of playing in the NHL.

In Vancouver there is a major lack of skill and potential on the wings. Jake Virtanen headlines the Canucks prospect core on the wings, followed by Hunter Shinkaruk who has had a down year this season. His transition to the professional level of hockey may not have arrived yet, but he may need to do something before Sven Baertschi takes his place. Even if his defensive game was struggling, which it is, his offensive stats could be better. Shinkaruk has 8 goals and 11 assists in 59 games this season. He was just short of that last season with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 41 less games.

If Sven Baertschi keeps improving, could it be possible that he surpasses Shinkaruk as the Canucks top left wing prospect?

Baertschi is certainly producing at a way where he could fill in for him with no harm done. Baertschi has been a key piece for the Comets since coming over in the trade. In six games Baertschi is a point per game player. He has one goal, a power play goal, but he has been creating and receiving multiple chances.

Baertschi is a restricted free agent at the end of this season and it would be wise for the Canucks to resign him. he could be one injury away from coming up the the NHL club and possibly turning some heads with some bottom six minutes.