The latest in a series on top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft looks at Finnish center Aleksander Barkov, who played for Tappara in Finland’s top league in 2012-13.
Weight: 205 pounds
2012-13 Team: Tappara (Finland)
Born: September 2, 1995
Birthplace: Tampere, Finland
|NHL Central Scouting||1st European skaters|
|International Scouting Services||5th all skaters|
|Red Line Report||4th overall|
|The Hockey News||6th overall|
|McKeen’s Hockey||5th overall|
|Hockey Prospectus||5th overall|
The 17-year-old ranked ninth in scoring in Finland’s top league with 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 53 games for Tappara. The 48 points were the most ever scored by a player his age in the SM-Liiga, breaking Olli Jokinen’s record of 41 points in 1996-97. Suffered a shoulder injury in his team’s fifth playoff game and missed the rest of the postseason. Played for Finland at the World Junior Championship, recording 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 6 games.
Registered 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 32 games for Tappara in Finland’s top league in 2011-12. … Recorded 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 7 games for Finland at 2012 World Junior Championship, and at 16-years-old became second youngest player ever to score a goal at the tournament … His father, Aleksander, played hockey in the Soviet Union and in Finland’s SM-Liiga. … Barkov has both Finnish and Russian citizenship.
“Barkov is one of the greatest NHL Entry Draft prospects to ever come out of Finland. He is a tremendously advanced player, with elite hockey sense. He regularly logged 20 minutes this season, which is rare for a September-born 17-year-old in Finland’s top league. He has an incredible amount of patience, vision, and awareness. He can slow the game down and dictate the tempo, as well as be the focal point on the power play. He also has a high level of defensive skill, showing ability at a very young age to be a quality defensive center.” – Hockey Prospectus
“.. big, skilled playmaking pivot .. highly methodical – plays with remarkable poise and maturity for his age .. always calm and in control .. crafty puckhandler and passer – supported by soft, strong hands and a finely-honed sense for pressure .. boasts sharp in-close finishing abilities – and a wristshot that is quick and powerful .. his release is compact and his slapshot packed with twang .. – McKeen’s Draft Guide 2013
“He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He’s a very good stick-handler with great vision. He’s one the better two-way players in this class and has shown more consistency than any other European over a full season.” – Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting
Video (Barkov shootout goal in Finnish Elite League)