Leading up to the 2011 draft, Flordiapanthers.com will be highlighting some of the top prospects to look out for. At number 3, the Panthers have a lot of players to choose from. What direction and who will they pick?
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THE SHINNY: The seventh ranked North American skater according to C.S.S., Sven Baertschi played in his first season with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks after coming over from Switzerland. The winger led all WHL rookies in scoring with 85 points in 66 games and was named the WHL's Western Conference Rookir of the Year for his efforts.
Baertschi has spent the last three years playing for Switzerland in various world tournaments. In 2011 in Buffalo, he played for their World Junior team while in 2009 and 2010 he played on their Under-18 team.
NHL Central Scouting's Blair MacDonald: “Baertschi is a finesse player. He has very quick hands and is a deft puckhandler. His radar vision probably makes him the best in the WHL at distributing the puck."
Portland head coach Mike Johnston: “Quick, skilled, very fast type of player . . . I don't think anyone can stay on the ice as long as he does. We have to tell him to get off the ice 45 minutes after practice ends. He stays out there forever to work on his game. He works on inside-outside moves, quick shots and little foot movement."
NHL Team: Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Player: Sidney Crosby Shootout Move: "Backhand five hole" TV Show: Tosh.O Pump-up song: "Juicy" by Notorious B.I.G. Sport (other than hockey): Golf and soccer Superhero: Batman
NEWS: Baertschi Is Drawing Comparisons To Niederreiter (12.24.10) While a significant amount of attention has been focused on the top North American skaters available for the 2011 Entry Draft with Monday's release of NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings, don't count out the possibility of hearing the name Adam Larsson when that first choice is made in June.
Larsson, a Swedish defenseman whose exceptional puck-handling, poise and booming shot will have scouts and general managers considering their options, is the top-rated European prospect on the board.