Aleksander Barkov Jr.

Aleksander Barkov Jr. was born in Tampere, Finland on September 2nd, 1995. He holds dual citizenship in both Finland and Russia, as he is the son of former Russian hockey player Aleksander Barkov Sr. “Sasha,” as Barkov Jr. is referred to, made his debut with Tappara Tampere on October 1st, 2011 and became the youngest player ever to score a point in that league.

Although he suffered a severe shoulder injury during the 2012-2103 season, Sasha was still chosen 2nd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers. He became the youngest player to score in the NHL post-expansion era at just 18 years old. In drafting Sasha, the Panthers not only got a great player, but a standout person as he was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for sportsmanship, combined with a high standard of play.

The 2015-2016 season was a good one for Sasha, but the 2017- 2018 season was even better. He set career highs in assists with 51 and points with 78 and made his first NHL All-Star Game. He also recorded his first hat-trick in his career against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In September of 2018, Sasha was named the Panthers’ team captain. The newly crowned team captain is involved with charities in both South Florida (Boca Helping Hands), and his hometown of Tampere, Finland (Laine-Barkov Charity Golf). This all makes for a great career, yet he is only getting started at just 23 years of age!

By STEVE FARACE | @CineSportsTalk