Florida Panthers Report Card: Aleksander Barkov
Aleksander Barkov had a stellar 2018-19 NHL season. The young captain led the Florida Panthers in points, but they just missed out on the playoffs.
Aleksander Barkov is one of the most underrated talents in hockey, in my opinion. The 23-year old center has consistently grown over his already six-year-long NHL career. This past season was no different.
2018-19 in Review
The Finn who goes by Sasha put together yet another strong season in Sunrise. He was second on the team in both goals and assists, amounting to leading the team in total points. Barkov lit the lamp 35 times and put up 61 assists.
To go along with that already sparkling resume for one season, Barkov only had eight penalty minutes, on route to his first major piece of hardware, the Lady Byng Trophy. This trophy is given out to the most gentlemanly player of the year, which typically coincides with one of the players with the least penalties called on him.
Barkov also scored one of the top goals of the season, going top cheddar from between the legs on the Canadiens.
All in all, Barkov had a great season in a string of strong seasons. With that said, I expect his 2019-20 season to be no different. He should continue his offensive growth, especially as he continues to gel with fellow first liner Mike Hoffman. I predict Barkov breaking the 90 point barrier again, possibly even eclipsing 100.
2018-19 OTH Award: Gentle Giant Award
The fact that Barkov ended the season with only eight penalty minutes is an incredible feat in itself. Doing it at his size is something else altogether. Barkov is not a small man by any means; he measures at 6-foot-3 inches tall and 213 pounds. That makes him two inches taller and about ten pounds heavier than the average player. He may not be a true giant like Zdeno Chara, but let’s just say he plays with a bit less of an edge.
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