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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Sven Bartschi

Friday, 06.10.2011 / 9:33 AM / 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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73