Minnesota Wild Prospects: Cristoph Bertschy Will Sign ELC, Joins Swiss National Team


Cristoph Bertschy, the Minnesota Wild’s 6th round pick in 2012, will sign an entry level contract with the team according to his NLA club, SC Bern, and confirmed by Elite Prospects.

Bertschy will also be joining the Swiss national team for the 2015 IIHF World Championships, which will be held in Prague starting on May 1.

On the Swiss team, Bertschy joins Cody Almond, who started this season with the Minnesota Wild but was injured in October, played a few games, then returned to Genève-Servette HC in the NLA when it became clear he wasn’t going to be spending any time at the NHL level.

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Also on the Swiss team is Damien Brunner whose contract with the New Jersey Devils was mutually terminated this season before he moved to the NLA to play for HC Lugano where he scored 11 goals and five assists in 20 games this season.

Many teams that predominantly feature NHL players have not announced rosters at this time.

As far as Bertschy goes, the Wild have not yet officially announced the signing, but Bertschy departing SC Bern is good news as he’s a strong center who will help the team deal with organizational depth issues, especially at center, and will help build the Iowa Wild into a stronger club.

Bertschy isn’t a big player at 5-foot-10, 189 pounds, but he has a good deal of offensive talent. He put in 14 goals and 16 assists through 44 games for Bern and served as the team’s alternate captain. He added another goal and two assists through seven playoff games before getting injured, something that the national team’s announcement says he’s working through and should be ready for the IIHF World Championship in a little less than a month’s time.

Bertschy isn’t like to be a top six center any time in the near future, but as he continues to develop, it’s easy to see how he could take on a role with the NHL club when you look around the league at smaller players like Mats Zucarello having a lot of success. However, Bertschy will need to prove that this season in the NLA was a product of development and not a scoring surge, since it was more of a breakout year than a continual slow build for him.

Here’s Hockey’s Future’s take on Bertschy:

"Bertschy is a gifted offensive player with above average puck skills and excellent speed. One of the more promising players taken in the 2012 draft, he likely slid to the latter rounds over concerns about his size, willingness to put in the time to train and add strength and bulk, and the lack of physical play in his game. An ankle injury last season set back his development but he has shown progress playing with SC Bern under former Lightning coach Guy Boucher."

And an assessment from Ulf Samuelsson of Bertschy’s talent shortly after he was drafted by the Wild:

"Bertschy is a speedy center with good vision and a hard shot. Could improve his stickhandling skills. Lacks size. Can appear selfish at times."

Next: Minnesota Wild Prospects Update

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