Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Sven Bartschi

Friday, 06.10.2011 / 9:33 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Draft Profile: Sven Bartschi
On each weekday between now and the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on June 24, we'll be profiling one of 11 players who could be chosen with the 12th overall pick by Carolina. Today's subject is Swiss winger Sven Bartschi. Also see: Hurricanes Draft History


One year after Nino Niederreiter left his native Switzerland to make a splash in North American junior hockey, one of his countrymen closely followed in his footsteps.

Paul Branecky
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Sven Bartschi (or Baertschi, depending on who you ask) is the latest Swiss import to record a highly-productive first season with Portland of the Western Hockey League, recording 85 points (34g, 51a) in 66 games. That performance has him ranked in a similar range as Niederreiter, his teammate in Portland, who the New York Islanders took with the fifth overall pick in 2010.

Despite the significant similarities in origin, current club and first-year output, the two are hardly twins. First, Niederreiter, a power forward, has much better size than the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Bartschi, but not the point of concern.

“I think when you look around the league, there’s room for shorter players but they need to be strong, and Bartschi seems to have that,” said Jason Karmanos, the Hurricanes’ vice president and assistant general manager. “I don’t think size is an issue with him.

"He’s much shorter than Niederreiter (who checked in at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds on draft day), but he’s a fairly thick kid.”

As such, they also have very different styles of play. As his goals-to-assists ratio might indicate, Bartschi is more of a playmaker known for his vision and hockey sense. While he lacks nothing in determination – his coach talks of having to pull him on the ice well after practice has wrapped up for the day - he’s much more of a finesse player than his compatriot who came before him.

“Bartschi is a creator,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes’ chief amateur scout. “He’s highly-skilled, smart and competes hard.”

Bartschi’s squad in Portland was one of the best in all of Canadian junior hockey, featuring Niederreiter and two other players taken early in the 2010 draft in Ryan Johansen (fourth overall) and Brad Ross (43rd). This year, he’s one of four players that the NHL’s Central Scouting service has ranked among the top 40 North American-based skaters.

Hurricanes scouts take that favorable setup into consideration when evaluating point totals, but are in this case convinced that the numbers don’t lie.

“It can be blown out of proportion sometimes,” said Karmanos. “I think you do need to keep it in mind when comparing levels of production, and certainly he benefited on the power play and other situations, but Bartschi by himself is a highly-skilled prospect.”

Portland narrowly missed its chance to contend for the Memorial Cup when it was defeated in five games by Kootenay in the WHL finals. However, Bartschi certainly held his own, finishing tied for second in playoff scoring with 27 points (10g, 17a) in 21 games - a total that equaled Niederreiter and trailed Johansen by one. As was the case in the regular season, no other rookie came near his totals.

“Their team probably underachieved at the end, but I wouldn’t say anything negative about his playoff performance,” said Karmanos.

Like Niederreiter, Bartschi likely did himself a favor by coming to North America to play junior hockey rather than play his draft-eligible season back home.

“You like the desire that’s shown in his willingness to leave home and put himself in unfamiliar surroundings,” said Karmanos. “He had an extremely good first year.”


SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72