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02-22-2013, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeepers Creeper View Post
I agree. His defensive awareness is something that really stands out in his game, even more so than his offensive output, which is pretty remarkable considering he is almost a PPG player in the FEL.

EDIT: If they awarded a Selke-type trophy for the best defensive forward in SM-liiga I think Barkov would be a very strong candidate to win it.
I think people tend to underrate his offense because he's not flashy like Armia for example. He gets things done in both ends of the ice. He may not be the most visible player on the ice, but surprisingly you can usually find him on the scoresheet in most games. When you look at the highlights you can see it's not a coincidence. He's not going to be the best goal scorer in the NHL, because he's not a sniper, but his goal-scoring potential is at least average NHL 1st line C caliber. The rest of his tools are better than that. Mikko Koivu seems to have no idea where he's shooting most of the time, but Barkov's calmer and has a natural knack for figuring out where he should aim his shot. And this is coming from someone who really likes M. Koivu.

There are a lot of purely offensive centers in SM-liiga (like Filppula) who are offensive dynamos but when it comes to defense, they pale in comparison to Barkov. Barkov hasn't put up as many points as Filppula, but the difference isn't very big and Barkov's much stronger defensively.

I don't think they can give him rookie of the year anymore, because he played too many games last season, but I find it hard to imagine that they wouldn't give him some kind of an award after his great season. Could be the equivalent of Lady Byng.

I guess he could play in the NHL next season, I'm thinking 3rd line C would be an ideal spot for him. No sense in playing him as a winger, he's a full-blooded center. But I think he's a bit too young and doesn't he still have at least one year of school left? So I think he should stay in Finland for at least one more year.

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