Heading into the 2013 NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers had one of the deeper and more talented groups of prospects in the NHL, including the recent Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau. With eight picks, including the second overall, the team needed to address several deficiencies in their depth chart, the most notable being a center to run the first-line offense and distribute the puck to Huberdeau.
Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara Tampere (SM-liiga)
1st Round, 2nd Overall
Height: 6'2 Weight: 172
A junior-aged player excelling in the elite Finnish league is a rarity. Even rarer is a 17-year-old center not only making a team, but clearly outpacing, out-thinking, and outscoring players in his country's top league, many of whom have 10 years or more of professional hockey seniority.… read more