BUFFALO NY - DECEMBER 26: Norman Hauner #10 of Germany tries to evade forward Sven Bartschi #15 of Switzerland during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Germany and Switzerland on December 26 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
It's been harped on plenty by both myself and others, but the Calgary Flames have never been even a decent drafting team. At best they've been bad, at worst they've been horrid. And the few times they did draft well (Brett Hull? Gary Roberts?), they chose to let those immensely talented players leave for either nothing or next to it.
So why am I dredging this all up? Because I want to celebrate what's continuing to appear to be a quality drafting job by the Calgary Flames: Sven Bartschi. One of the better players in the rookie camp, training camp, and preseason, Bartschi took his terrific play back to the WHL with him and has been absolutely dominant. With 17 points in 8 games so far, SVEN finds himself on a 140 pt season pace. If he hits that, he'd be the highest scoring first round prospect in Flames draft history since Dan Quinn. Yes- DAN QUINN.
Just think about that. Dan Quinn was drafted in 1983 at (oddly enough) 13th overall. He scored 147 points in his draft year, with 8 more in the playoffs. The next year? He started in junior with 59 points in 24 games, was called up to Calgary and scored 52 in 54 with 8 points in 8 playoff games.
There's not a lot of players in Flames history who've done in junior what Bartschi is doing right now. Hull scored a heckuva lot in junior, but he was also in the BCJHL rather than a CHL league. Lombardi scored 130 his last year in junior, but that was his 20 year old season: he was a man scoring against boys. And of course, there's always Theo Fleury.
Sven Bartschi is keeping fine company these days, and while I'd hardly expect him to actually touch that 140 point mark due to missed games, merely keeping that pace is huge, and it's keeping him in fine company.
I'm not saying we should hold our breath for SVEN to become a 90+ point player like Fleury, Hull and Quinn all were at various points. Hell, I'd be thrilled with a 70 point two way player. What I am saying is that he's put himself in fine company- especially given that all those forwards were under six feet tall, just like SVEN.