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08-11-2011, 11:26 AM
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I wrote in another thread that Barkov reads the game really well and that a clear majority of his decisions are correct. The next sentence was; it’s almost Granlund like perfection in a NHL frame. …So not equal, but not that far either, at least in my opinion. During Granlund’s rookie season in SM-liiga there was an article in Jääkiekkolehti where a Finnish scouting organization did an in-depth analysis of Granlund’s game. I have a feeling that Barkov would score almost as well in a similar analysis.
I didn't mean that you stated that Barkov's hockey IQ is on same level as Granlund's. Just heard people saying that. But I will get back on this when I have seen Barkov enough to say things about his hockey mind.

You seem to be well aware of upcoming Finnish prospects, I’d like to hear more about your views and opinions. Who do you think are the top Finnish prospects for 2013 at the moment? Maybe a top-3, top-5 or whatever you’re comfortable with. From what I’ve seen so far I’d have Barkov 1st, Ristolainen 2nd, Lehkonen 3rd, possibly Koivistoinen 4th and so on…
Well my prospect knowledge is based on very limited views but I like to think that I understand hockey quite well cause I have played it my whole life. Hmm.. My top 5 for 2013: 1. Sasha Barkov- clearly number one after the games I saw in Ivan Hlinka. Big frame, good wrister, decent skating and great vision. Showed some wow factor also against Slovakia. Something I haven't seem from him before. When watched him play in Ivan Hlinka it looked like he doesen't even have to play with full intensity even though the competition is year older than him. Maybe it is because of the ability to froze the game or its tempo. Calm with the puck and poke checks good with his stick. Has developed imo a lot this offseason. Looking good. 2. Rasmus Ristolainen - Has no significant weaknesses in his game. Good hands, big, quite physical, good vision and skating. Does sometimes little bit hasty or nervous decisions with the puck but generally has good understanding of the game. Skating is pretty good but I must say that he looks bit clumsy specially in turns. Maybe it is his growth because I remember he was smoother when I first saw him play 2009-2010 season. His development has slowed down a bit imo. I was expecting him to be a top 10 or even top 5 contender for this draft in some point. He is still a great prospect and has potential to be top 10 pick in 2013. If I remember right he had somekind of injury last autumn? Maybe that has slowed a bit his development... 3. Juuso Ikonen - Have to say Ikonen because he is imo the most talented finn in this draft class. His skating reminds me a lot of Selänne's skating. Has also good vision and hands. All is there but size and maybe shot. Haven't been manhandled in Ivan Hlinka like Jonathan Tanus so I have still hope that he could become NHLer. He is that good skater. If he doesen't grow no more the chances are very slim but if he ends up something like 5'9-5'10 he could have a chance. If he can handle the bigger opponent now why not later?

Hah, I can't decide who to name for the 4. and 5. because haven't seen them yet this season.. the contenders for those places are imo Ville Husso, Koivistoinen, Lehkonen and maybe Alex Lintuniemi. I mentioned Jimi Kuronen here before but what I saw in Slovakia game wasn't convinced.

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