After a decent debut campaign with Vancouver in 2015-16, Sven Baertschi took another step forward in 2016-17, finishing third on the team with 18 goals. The former Flame discovered some great chemistry with rising star Bo Horvat and delivered in the clutch with five game-winning tallies. He isn't known for being a massive point producer, as his 35 points last season were a career high, but Baertschi is proving he's a very capable goal scorer who can contribute on the power play. A potential second line of Baertschi, Horvat and youngster Brock Boeser could make 2017-18 another successful campaign for the Swiss forward.
Baertschi (neck) participated in Friday's on-ice practice session, Jeff Paterson of TSN 1040 reports. Baertschi's 2016-17 campaign ended prematurely in April due to a neck ailment, but the Swedish winger appears to be back to 100 percent ahead of this season. He set career highs in goals (18) and assists (17) in 68 games last year, so if he's able to stay healthy this year, he could break through the 40-point threshold, making him a solid depth option in deeper fantasy formats.
Baertschi (neck) will not play this weekend, but head coach Willie Desjardins does not believe he will need surgery. Baertschi will finish the season with 18 goals and 17 assists, while clocking a career-high 15:53 of ice time per game. These past two seasons have proven he deserves a spot in the NHL, and his average of just over a half point per game shows Baertschi has long-term fantasy value.
Baertschi netted two goals in Saturday's win over the Kings. Baertschi is meshing well on the second line with rising star Bo Horvat and has reached the 30-point mark for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old has now put up points in back-to-back games after returning from a nine-game absence related to a concussion. The former Flame isn't a massive producer, but he's tallied 15 goals and makes for a solid play in some deeper leagues. Baertschi's top-six role and growing confidence make it seem like he could be a decent contributor down the stretch.
Baertschi is projected to return for Thursday's game in San Jose after missing the last nine games to a concussion. While Baertschi technically remains on injured reserve for the time being, the amount of time he's sat out is comparable to a normal recovery from a concussion and all signs point to him returning, so he'll likely be removed from IR prior to puck drop Thursday. With four other Vancouver forwards in the ranks of the injured, the team will surely appreciate it if Baertschi can return sooner rather than later.
Coach Willie Desjardins indicated Tuesday that Baertschi (concussion) won't play against the Red Wings, but noted that he hopes to have the winger back for the road trip that starts Thursday in San Jose. Desjardins offer a specific return date, but it appears as though Thursday's contest isn't out of the question; his status should be updated again closer to that tilt. With 13 goals and 14 assists through 50 games, the 24-year-old winger needs just two more points to set a new career high.
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