Tuesday, June 21, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Sven Bärtschi #15

By Eldon MacDonald

15. Sven Bärtschi - “Dead Eye” - LW - Switzerland

Vitals: Size - 5’10”, 181 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 5-Oct-92 - Lengenthal, SWI
Team: Portland WHL
2010-11Stats: 66-34-51-85-74-(+23) + WHL playoffs 21-10-17-27-16-(+10)
8 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (7th North American skater)
8 - The Hockey News per TSN
9 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
11 - ISS's 30-May-11 per TSN
11 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
14 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
14 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
15 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
15 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
15 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
15 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
16 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
16 - McKeen's June Top 30
18 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
25 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
Draft result:
13 - Calgary Flames

Read what his linemate, Ty Rattie told NHL.com and you will get an idea why Sven Bärtschi will be a success in the NHL, "He's unreal out there. He knows how to put the puck in the net. He's got a great shot and is one of the hardest workers I've ever met. He works hard off the ice. He's one of the best practice players I know and that's going to be huge in his career … and he has a good one ahead of him." Hockey for Dummies version - he has good skills but it is the work and passion he puts into the game that will ensure his eventual success. And you could really see how that work ethic and dedication to improve changed his game over the course of the season. When he first came over here from Switzerland, he had the European skills (Skating, shooting, passing) but he needed to learn the North American game (physicality, battling for the puck, board work, defensive work, penalty killing). Over the Christmas holidays, he played for Team Switzerland and didn’t do too well, coming off as an ineffectual perimeter type player, and was heavily criticized for it. Sven didn’t sulk about it, he just used it as a motivation to get better and better he got. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Sven was used as a penalty killer and his defensive game improved to where he was second on the team in plus-minus in the playoffs with a plus ten. He also maintained his offense, tying for second for most points in the WHL playoffs with 27 in 21 games. His physical play still needs work (along with some additional strength) but you can see by the improvements that he made this year that he will get there.

OK, so we talked about the process, what about the product. Well, you get a gunslinger with a deadly aim, a lightning fast draw and lots of notches in his belt - for non-oater fans, that translates to a big-time goal scorer, almost a Jeff Skinner. Add in an elite vision, excellent acceleration and agility, those soft hands and you have the potential for an offensive dynamo. However, to realize that potential Sven will need to continue to refine and improve his physical game to the point where it adds to the equation and not deducts from it.

The consensus for Sven come Friday (June 24th) is for early to mid teens (Bob MacKenzie’s poll of scouts has him at 14).


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