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11-16-2012, 02:35 PM
  #323
Baggie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
I don't think his nationality is a strike against him. The SM-liiga is a solid league, but the NHL pays WAY better and is just a much bigger deal, teams are not scared at all that a Finn could develop into a good player and still not come over. It's really only a concern with Russians, since the KHL is a pretty strong competitor, and since the culture difference is greater between North America and Russia than it is between North America and Finland or Sweden.

People often ask "what does so and so have to do to be drafted first overall," but I think it's more about tools/ability. I think Barkov will certainly get some consideration at 1st overall, along with a good number of other prospects, but I don't see him going above MacKinnon. MacKinnon is just so much more dynamic, so explosive and dangerous, while also playing a pretty complete game. MacKinnon's upside just seems higher to me. Love them both, though.
"Finnish factor" may still be something the GM's might consider, no matter how complete player Barkov looks. Because drafting finnish skaters hasn't been very succesful lately (say, 10 years), although the recent couple of drafts look a bit better now, but none of them are in the NHL yet. Not saying he'll be a huge gamble, but little things like this may be enough to justify him not being a contender for first overall.

Doesn't really matter though, I am super excited about a finnish prospect who has elite talent level AND size that is advantage rather than weakness for a change.

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