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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Aleksander Barkov

Monday, 06.17.2013 / 9:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Aleksander Barkov
Each weekday leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s fifth pick. Related Links: 2013 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History



He dominated in a men’s league. He is the top-ranked European skater according to the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service. He figures to be a top-five pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Michael Smith
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And he won’t turn 18 years old until Sept. 2, 2013.

He is Aleksander Barkov, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound center who has competed in SM-liiga, Finland’s top professional hockey league, for the past two seasons.

“He’s an NHL-ready player in terms of the fact that he’s already playing with seasoned professionals, playing against guys that have played in the NHL,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ head of amateur scouting. “He’s proven that he’s more than capable of holding his own and making a significant contribution.”

Barkov was just 15 years old when he played in 25 games and recorded 17 points (5g, 12a) with Tappara’s under-20 team. In the same season, he represented Finland in international play at the under-16 and under-17 levels.

As a 16-year-old, Barkov made his debut in SM-liiga, skating in 32 games and posting 16 points (7g, 9a). One of only four 2012 tournament players born in 1995, Barkov became the youngest Finn at 16 years and four months old to score a goal in the IIHF World Junior Championship. In seven tournament games, Barkov posted a goal and three assists for the Finnish national team, which dropped a 4-0 decision to Team Canada in the bronze medal game.

ALEKSANDER BARKOV
CENTER
HOMETOWN: TAMPERE, FINLAND
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 205
BIRTHDAY: SEPT. 2, 1995 (AGE 17)

In 2012-13, a European season that saw an influx of NHL talent during the work stoppage, Barkov ranked second on Tappara in scoring with 21 goals and 27 assists (48 points) in 53 games. Barkov was a point-per-game producer in five playoff games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury, which required surgery in April and forced him to sit out the fitness portion of the NHL Combine. In the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, Barkov registered three goals and four assists (7 points) in six games.

“As a young player, he went in there (SM-liiga) and accomplished quite a bit in terms of producing and playing a good two-way game,” MacDonald said. “He put up very good and impressive numbers in the Finnish Elite League, which is a very good professional league.”

Barkov possesses a number of attributes working in his favor, not the least of which is his burly frame. He also has elite vision and a reasonably well-developed two-way game, especially considering his age.

His bloodlines aren’t bad either.

Barkov, born in Finland, is the son of Russian athletes. His father, Alexander, played hockey in Russia and represented the country in three World Championships before moving west to Italy and finally Finland, where he played for Tappara Tampere for ten years. After hanging up the skates, Alexander became the coach of Tappara’s under-18 team and later, the assistant coach of the men’s team. Alexander was an assistant coach in the KHL as recently as last year. Barkov’s mother, Olga, played on the Russian national basketball team.

While not usually in the conversation of the “Big Three” – Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin – in this year’s draft, Barkov certainly commands consideration. He is the type of forward who would immediately make an impact in the Hurricanes’ lineup.

The four teams picking ahead of Carolina are likely seeing the same upside.



SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61