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When Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon selected Aleksander Barkov with the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, he knew he had hit a home run.
Sure, Barkov was only 18 years old but he had been playing in the top league in Finland for two years when Tallon brought his skills to South Florida.
Barkov played as an 18-year-old rookie and has quietly become one of the league’s best two-way centers despite not being old enough to drink.
On Tuesday the Panthers made a long-term commitment to Barkov, signing him to a six-year contract extension that will keep him with Florida until 2022.
While Barkov is generally lauded for his superb two-way game, he has always had some serious offensive skills.
Throughout his career Barkov has wowed fans and teammates with the way he makes goalies look downright silly during shootouts.
Here are a few of those examples:
Unreal move to take down Vancouver
This seems to be Barkov’s go-to move:
Who needs two hands to score on a breakaway?
17-year-old Barkov shows dangle before doing his thing in Finland
Nothing fancy about this game-winner
Back to 17-year-old Barkov playing for Tappara in Finland. NASTY.