Foreign team: Tappara (Finland)
Born: Tampere, Finland
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 205 pounds
2012-13 stats: 53 games, 21 goals, 27 assists, 48 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 1 (European)
Lowdown: A 17-year-old isn’t supposed to dominate a men’s league. Barkov did. The big forward skated alongside former NHLer Ville Nieminen and never looked out of place, thrusting himself into the mix for a top-five selection at the draft.
Barkov’s father, Alexander, played 16 years in European leagues (often as a point-per-game player), and Barkov has lived up to the family name. He’s been competing against professionals since he was 16 and quickly developed the poise of a grown man. He’s been referred to as Saku Koivu with size.
“Sasha” had seven points in six games at the world junior championships on a team that boasted Joel Armia, the Sabres’ first-round pick in 2011. He’s a dependable faceoff man who has the vision to make the correct pass.
Barkov’s playoffs ended abruptly because of the need for shoulder surgery. He had it in April and will miss five months. He’s not the fastest skater.
They said it: "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, to NHL.com.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.
taggedNHL Entry Draft