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Aleksander Barkov: Prospect Profile for Florida Panthers' 1st-Round Pick

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 06:  Aleksander Barkov #16 of Team Finland skates against the USA Blue Squad at the USA hockey junior evaluation camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 6, 2012 in Lake Placid, New York. Team USA defeated Finland 5-4.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJanuary 6, 2017

Player: Aleksander Barkov

Drafted By: Florida Panthers (2nd overall)

Position: Center

Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 1 European skater

Height/Weight: 6'2'', 205 lbs

DOB: September 2, 1995 (17 years old)

Most Recent Affiliation: SM-liiga, Tappara

 

Background

Aleksander Barkov was a force for Tappara during the 2012-13 season, and his dynamo year helped him keep his top ranking with CSS. In 53 games, Barkov tallied 48 points, and he was a standout for his home country of Finland during the IIHF World Junior Championship.

 

Full Scouting Report

Barkov is a special physical specimen who has elite talent, and he has a lot going for him. At 6’2” and 205 pounds, Barkov has size and strength that allows him to drive with the puck. Once he has the puck and starts moving his strong legs, it is very difficult to knock him off the puck.

Barkov also has a very stealthy shot that he can deploy with great velocity. He also has silky smooth hands that allow him to deke out a defender or saucer the puck to a teammate on either wing.

This center has a very nice assortment of skills, and Tampa Bay Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray had this to say about him before the draft.

He’s a combination of a goal-scorer and a playmaker. He played the past two years in the Finnish Elite League and this past year was very impressive. He was top 10 in scoring in the men’s league as a 17-year-old.

 

NHL Player Comparison

Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. Barkov is a skilled power forward who is great at handling the puck, and he likes to use his size.

 

NHL Timetable

Barkov could find himself in the NHL at the start of the 2013-14 season because of his skill and talent. However, he could always decide to spend another year in Finland to finish his commitment to Tappara.

 

Top-End Potential

Barkov is going to be a legitimate stud. He has the size of a power forward, the hands and poise of a skilled playmaker and he is a fluid skater. His combination of speed, size and skill make him a coveted prospect, and he has a bright future ahead of him at the NHL level. At his absolute best, he could be like Evgeni Malkin or Joe Thornton, but either way he is going to be great.

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