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05-17-2013, 10:45 AM
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The thing is that Barkov is very ready and gifted player defensively for his age. We are talking about kid who played in a shutdown role in WJC team as 16 year old putting 4points in 7 games without any PP time. We are talking about kid who was one of the best two-way players in entire FEL as 17 year old. He had 3rd best +/- for fowards in entire league, Top 10 in goals scored, top 10 in points scored, top 5 in faceoff%(he was 3rd in first half of the season not sure where he ended up), Top 10 in TOI for fowards in entire league, 8 minutes of penalties in entire season, it's not statistic in FEL but Barkov leads by far in takeaways for all players in FEL(no one is near as good as him in takeaways in FEL). Plays in first PK unit for his team and in all situation. Was used in all situation in FEL as 16 year old leading his team with +5 when other players averaged about -8. He was the only + player who played majority of the season with the team.

Mostly when young players are cracking to the team we are thinking about rookie mistakes, learning processes, sacrificing for player developement but Barkov is very ready player already posessing special combination of physical and mental majurity for his age. He looked like experienced vet at the playoffs when he had 5points in 5games before he got injured and he was best player in the series and led the series in points. I would play Barkov in all situations because if not it is waste of his defensive talent. We all know about his offensive upside and high-end skillset but most of posters outside of finland doesen't realise that Barkov is elite defensively for his age. He is a player who might be perennial selke competitor. That 1st line C who plays in every situation and contributes offensively like Kopitar, Toews, Bergeron etc.. They all are 1st line C of last 3 SC champion teams. I think that Barkov has great potential to become as valuable player as them for his team which drafts him.

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