By Tony Saxon, Guelph Mercury
The Guelph Storm went all-Swiss at the Canadian Hockey League import draft Wednesday.
With their first pick, 26th overall, the Storm chose highly-regarded 17-year-old Swiss defenceman Phil Baltisberger, a six-foot, 210-pound left-shooting blueliner who has already represented Switzerland twice at the World Junior tournament.
Playing for the GC Küsnacht Lions of the Swiss professional B league last year, Baltisberger had three goals, 12 assists and 48 penalty minutes in 39 games. At the world juniors he had an assist in six games, but at the under-18 tournament he had 12 points in 18 games.
Baltisberger, a late 1995 birth year, also captained the Swiss under-18 team last year.
With their second pick of the draft Guelph chose 1996-born 5-foot-10, 158-pound skilled winger Pius Suter, who is also from Switzerland.
Suter played on the Swiss under-18 team, had 12 goals and nine assists in 33 games playing in the Swiss junior A league a year ago.
“We have assurances that they will both be in Guelph next year,” Storm general manager Mike Kelly said of the duo.
Kelly said Baltisberger is held in high regard throughout hockey circles.
“We like him a lot. He’s a legitimate NHL prospect who played with adults last year,” Kelly said.
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