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01-04-2013, 07:20 PM
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I've seen much more of Barkov, I've seen quite a good number of his SM-liiga games, but I've only seen Lindholm in the WJC, so it's tough for me to compare them.

My thoughts on Barkov:
- Positives: very good size, terrific hockey IQ, always involved in the play at both ends of the ice, makes very few mistakes. Positive impact in all 3 zones and in all situations (PP, PK, ES). True centre. He's really young too, if he was 2 weeks younger he'd be a 2014 pick, not a 2013 pick. 9 months younger than Lindholm.
- Negatives: not going to blow you away with his speed, dangles or shot, you could question his offensive upside. Personally I think he's going to be very good offensively, though not truly elite. Doesn't hit a lot, though I don't think that's a big deal as he isn't at all afraid of contact. Doesn't play a high energy/hustle game, but again I don't think that's a big deal, his positioning is excellent and he's constantly involved in the play regardless.
- Upside: I'd peg his upside as similar to current Joe Thornton (the less offensive, 2-way version), a super smart 2-way centre with size who can really see the ice beautifully. I think he has quite a good shot to be at least as good as current Mikko Koivu, and barring injuries I just can't see him truly busting. I think he'll be NHL ready immediately, or will require at most 1 extra year in the SM-liiga.

My thoughts on Lindholm (keep in mind that I've seen way less of him):
- Positives: seems to have really excellent hands and skating, and a nice shot too. Hockey IQ seems very good. Reasonably physical, hustles hard. Strong on the puck AND shifty, a deadly combo.
- Negatives: haven't seen him enough to notice many, seems like a very complete player. Not overly tall, but he's strong so that doesn't really matter. I guess you could question whether he's a true centre, since he's mostly played wing in the SEL, but to me he appears to have a game that would work very well at centre.
- Upside: very tough for me to say, maybe similar to Nicklas Backstrom? Like Barkov he seems like a very safe pick, hard to see him busting with such a complete, well developed game, and he also seems NHL ready either immediately or quickly.

Again, really tough for me to compare them. They're both clearly top notch prospects, but I've seen a lot more of Barkov than Lindholm, still don't have a fully formed opinion on the Swede. My gut is telling me that Lindholm is the slightly better prospect, from what I can tell he plays a very complete, high IQ, 2-way game like Barkov, but appears to have more offensive potential due to his speed and dangles. Need more viewings to feel confident about that opinion, though.

Both are IMO in the "elite 6" for this draft, along with MacKinnon, Jones, Drouin and Monahan. All of these guys would be top 3 picks most years, this draft is truly awesome, so much competition for the top spots.

Last edited by ponder: 01-04-2013 at 07:28 PM.
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