You definitely want to keep this young prospect on your radar. Phil Baltisberger has been making a big splash and at an early age, this is a good sign for scouts prospecting young talent. Baltisberger is draft eligible in 2014 and will be a defenseman to keep on your list of players to watch.
Baltisberger describes himself as a combination player between stars Lidstrom and Phaneuf with a niche for the defensive side of the game. In addition, Baltisberger emphasizes his transition to the offensive game as a key asset, with the use of his shot playing a major role in his offensive game. What's even more impressive is that this young prospect will be playing for ZSC in the NLA this upcoming year at the age of 16. The National League A is an elite league in Switzerland. Baltisberger has already captained the Swiss team in the U18 International Jr. Tournament this year, making his resume look even more credible to scouts alike.
During his transition into the NLA, Phil will look to his brother Chris. Chris, whom already plays in the NLA, will provide a presence that Phil will use as a building block to his future success. Although Phil has already had some experience at the NLA level, playing a full season will be critical to the growth of the young prospect. In addition, the NHL lockout will provide Baltisberger with some needed competition, as stars like Joe Thornton and Rick Nash are likely to make a splash.
Overall, we should expect Baltisberger to have an immediate impact at the NLA level. Using his size and age as an asset, he will continue to grow and with the help of his teammates, flourish into a leader.
For scouts, it is important to assess the pros and cons of draft eligible prospects and although Baltisberger has a couple years until he steps up on to the draft podium, the time he has to develop into a mature player is in his favor. While Baltisberger is credited as a big, defensive player who has the ability to put in offensive contributions, he emphasizes his commitment to improving his skating game. As far as his future is concerned, Baltisberger is undecided to where he may land next year. Baltisberger talks about playing over in Canada, but as of now he remains undecided. Either way, stepping up into the NLA will be a major contribution to the development of Baltisberger's game.
All teams look for a leader. Leaders are not born, they are developed. Phil Baltisberger is setting the bar high and will be a notable draft prospect to watch up until his draft year in 2014. Baltisberger is a leader and as he improves his skating game, will prove to be a solid two-way defenseman in the NHL.
PHOTO CREDIT: GSK LIONS