Rookie left winger Sven Baertschi will officially be a part of the Calgary Flames roster when they open their season on Sunday.
Flames head coach Bob Hartley let Baertschi know of the decision on Thursday.
“He was happy this morning when I told him ‘You're an NHL player.' There was a big smile on his face,” Hartley told the Calgary Sun. “It's a big accomplishment to start in the NHL. He's a great kid, and we're going to support him. He's our baby.”
Baertschi, the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, appeared in five games with the Flames last season, scoring three goals on 10 shots.
“I will just ask Sven to be Sven. He's a kid,” Hartley told the Calgary Sun. “There are bumps in the road playing every second night. It will be a big challenge for Sven, but we're not going to leave him alone on an island. We will talk with him and support him. He's a kid. I love working with young players. This is a positive challenge for us.
“At the same time, we're not going to put the weight of the Scotiabank Saddledome on his back. We want him to feel good and give us the hockey he can bring us. I'm sure we will find ways to get him better. He's a good student of the game. He wants to learn.
“The sky is the limit for Sven.”
The 20-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland had 33 goals and 94 points in 47 regular season games with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL last season.