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01-31-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
Whereas he is naturally a top prospect and will almost surely go top 7 this summer, he certainly wasn't very solid at the WJC. In fact, he left a lot to be desired. He spent many games being invisible, including the 5-1 victory over a severely outmatched Latvia. No-one should let the seven points in six games fool them as all three goals and one assist came in the 8-0 and (meaningless) 11-4 relegation round victories over Germany and Slovakia. The latter game actually truly meant nothing at all as every placement aside from the gold and bronze medal games had been decided by then.

Amongst the big name draft-eligibles, Barkov pretty much was the biggest WJC disappointment.

Pokka for Team Finland:
Having been there and even spoken with Ville, I can say that he was anyhting but happy with his performance and wasn't necessarily as solid as some have been pointing at. Of his tournament production, 2-2-4 and a +8 rating were attained in the aforementioned relegation games against Germany and Slovakia, who were meanial competition, at best. In the initial round, Pokka often had his hands more than full with forwards who tried anything crafty and made a number of poor or uncalled for passes along the way, several of which led directly to icing calls if not to excellent opportunities for opponents. One of his assists actually came on a botched-up pass that got away from him and simply fooled everyone around him. The loose puck was then picked up by a teammate and wristed in very anonymously just over the blueline, one the opposition goaltender had no business letting in. There was little more than lucky circumstance involved there.

This is not to be damning, but the kid was unfortunately a typical symptom of why team Finland ended up in the relegation round... and it weighed heavy on him. I have the distinct impression that he has a very, very difficult time dealing with and coming back from losses.

Just my $0.02 - and granted, due to the arena logistics and the importance of other games, I only saw three of Finland's games live and bits and pieces of others on TV.

I really appreciate your knowledge of prospects, as well as your accessibility to them. But your argument about prospects feasting on weaker competition is almost as old as the game of hockey itself. You can even use the greatest player of all time, (IMO Gretzky), and say, well if he didn't score 30+ goals against LA and Winnipeg (or whoever were the weak teams, when he scored 92), he would have never scored 92 goals in 1981/82. You can't take away the production just because it came against weaker competition, nor can you hold it against them, they are playing against whoever is in front of them. I mean, for Pete's sake, didn't Peter Forsberg amass 12 points in one game against Japan in his record WJHC ? Didn't Kuznetsov amass 9 points in a game a few years ago against weak competition ? Did they say, well he scored 9 of his points against chumps, so we aren't going to name him the top forward of the WJHC ? No they didn't, because they look at the overall tournament.

As far as Barkov, he is rated #4 in the afore mentioned Mid-Season ratings by TSN and Craig Button.

TSN Scout Craig Button:
Aleksander is mature beyond his years with a quiet confidence in his game. He has uncanny awareness and is a player who is capable of sizing up the play two and three steps ahead and can therefore do things at a very high pace and tempo. He possesses great hands, and he makes every kind of pass to create scoring chances. A very good skater who can create time and space for himself in the offensive zone. He is a dangerous offensive player who plays with determination and has a 'go about his business approach.' Has the potential to be a top number 1 center.

I highlighted the comment about his skating, which is being questioned by A Pointed Stick.

Obviously my preferences are Jones, Mackinnon & Drouin, but if we are in the #4 slot, and Barkov is there, I would not complain, though we already have a lot of center prospects. Even though we have a lot of center prospects, I wanted Galchenyuck last year.

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