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Road to the NHL Draft: Aleksander Barkov

John Vogl

Aleksander Barkov

Position: Center

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

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.


NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |