Aleksander Barkov
Aleksander Barkov
24-Year-Old CenterC
Florida Panthers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Barkov had been known as one of the league's most underrated players for a while, but it's safe to say he's become a household name after exploding for a career-best 96 points last season. Despite taking only 206 shots after firing 256 in 2017-18, Barkov watched his goal total climb from 27 to 35, and he took his power-play production to the next level with 13 goals and 31 points. There's little not to like about the Finn, who has already logged 413 NHL contests before his 24th birthday. A healthy Barkov should push for his first 100-point season on a Florida team that expects to be a contender after signing star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky this offseason. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $35.4 million contract extension with the Panthers in January of 2016.
Serving up assists
CFlorida Panthers
October 15, 2019
Barkov collected two more helpers during Monday's 6-3 win over the Devils.
Despite the Panthers' big comeback from down 4-1, Barkov and the first line were mostly uninvolved. His two assists came on the opening goal 16 seconds into the game, and the final goal to put the game out of reach. Barkov has yet to hit the back of the net, as all five of his points so far have been assists.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In his fifth NHL season, Barkov enjoyed a breakout 2017-18 campaign, posting 27 goals and a career-high 78 points. It was largely due to his increased role, averaging 22:04 minutes of ice time per game and putting 256 shots on net in 79 games -- all career bests. The Finnish centerman will only be 23 years old prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, but he's established himself as one of the best two-way forwards the league has to offer. Barkov should continue in his role as top-line center as well as being a pivotal member of the top power-play unit.
A budding star at center with size and talent in spades, Barkov has garnered Selke Trophy votes in three of his four seasons and cleared 50 points in two straight campaigns, but he’s been unable to stay healthy thus far in his young career. Barkov sat out 21 games to injury last year, bringing his career total to 76 missed contests -- almost a full season’s worth of development lost. Even so, he’s already one of the best and most reliable young power forwards in the game when healthy, and the Finn is certainly the undisputed No. 1 center on the Panthers. He forms a fantastic scoring duo with Jonathan Huberdeau, but it wouldn't hurt to see Barkov shoot the puck more, and both top-line stars will have to stay healthy to help the Panthers bounce back after a nightmare season.
Barkov took the league by storm with 28 goals and 59 points in 66 games last season, and he doesn’t even turn old enough to celebrate that success with a drink until September. Indeed, this Barkov’s got plenty of bite, but the 6-foot-3 Finn needs to turn in a full NHL campaign, as he hasn’t yet played more than 71 games in his three seasons. Still, he took a major step forward on the defensive side in his third NHL campaign, finishing with a plus-18 rating after combining for a minus-7 mark in his first two. His combination of talent and discipline should make Barkov a Lady Byng Trophy candidate for years to come, and 2013’s No. 2 overall pick could just be scratching the surface of his potential.
The second overall pick in 2013, Barkov made positive strides in 2014-15, totaling 16 goals and 20 assists in 71 games. While his shooting percentage was very high at 13.0 percent, the teenaged Barkov showed a goal-scoring knack that was missing from his rookie season, when he found net just eight times. The 6-foot-3 centerman is still growing into his body, and with more opportunities on the power play, he should continue to see strong point production as he begins his age-20 season. Pivoting one of the Panthers' top two lines certainly won't hurt his cause, either. With a ton of promise and talented linemates, Barkov is a good depth option in most formats and is worth grabbing while you still can in keeper leagues.
Barkov's promising rookie season was cut short by a knee injury suffered while playing for Finland at the 2014 Olympics. On the bright side, the 18-year-old was playing for a medal contender at the world's best hockey tournament in the midst of a strong rookie season. Barkov is expected to be fully healthy for the start of the season and should be the Panthers' top center, likely lining up with fellow promising youngster Jonathan Huberdeau. Barkov's potential is as a top two-way center and elite playmaker in the NHL. It wouldn't be surprising to see him reach the 50-point plateau in his sophmore season. He's going to find a place in all fantasy leagues this year.
The Cats took Barkov second overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, and the 17-year-old has a very bright future ahead of him. He just signed a $3.575 million contract this summer, so it looks like that future is now. He'll be asked to step in right away and score for the team with the second-lowest payroll in the NHL. He won't be at the front of most fantasy owners' minds on draft day, but if he starts out the season well don't be afraid to pick him up early before everybody else catches on. If his 48 points in 53 games in the Finnish SM-liiga last season are any indication of his potential, the youngster could be an offensive force once he settles into the North American game.
More Fantasy News
Two helpers in loss
CFlorida Panthers
October 8, 2019
Barkov picked up two assists, one on the power play, in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes.
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Notches first point
CFlorida Panthers
October 6, 2019
Barkov picked up an assist on the power play in Saturday's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.
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Shines with the first line
CFlorida Panthers
September 25, 2019
Barkov scored two goals and added an assist in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Lightning.
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Not joining Team Finland
CFlorida Panthers
April 18, 2019
Barkov will not be heading to the IIHF World Championship for Team Finland, the Panthers' official site reports.
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Closes books on breakout campaign
CFlorida Panthers
April 6, 2019
Barkov scored a goal and an assist in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils.
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