Continuing our 2013 NHL Entry Draft preview with International Scouting Services (ISS), we focus on a the highly-touted European player, Aleksander (Sasha) Barkov. Barkov already has a lot of size for his age (17) and could be a franchise number one center. Currently playing for Tappara of the SM-liiga, the 205lb center is one that could be of help to a multitude of teams. With the recent news coming out of Colorado, that the Avalanche do not intend to draft Seth Jones, could this put a hamper on what many fans in Nashville want out of this draft?
Read on to see what ISS lead scout Dennis MacInnis has to say about Sasha Barkov.
Penalty Box Radio: Briefly describe what makes Barkov’s skill-set unique from others in the draft.
Dennis MacInnis: Big, strong and mature. He is excellent at controlling the puck in the middle of the ice.
PBR: What three teams that did not make the playoffs could benefit most from drafting Barkov and why?
DM: Winnipeg – Could be their next Finnish franchise player, fits well with their core
Nashville – Would fit into Barry Trotz’s systems well and gives them a dynamic playmaker up front that could be a big boost to their other scoring threats
Tampa Bay – Big centre who draws opponents to the middle and can dish off to the wings fits very well for Lightning
PBR: What current NHL player would Sasha Barkov be similar to once he reaches his prime?
DM: Ryan Getzlaf
PBR: What ability does Barkov have that would strike fear in to opponents?
DM: Draw you out of position, out-muscle you and then make you look silly by hitting his option tape to tape with you draped all over his back.
PBR: Can you see him playing immediately in the 2013-2014 NHL season?
For more information on prospects of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, read our other entries on Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin. You can also find more information from ISS Hockey and on Twitter @ISSHockey.