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Exclusive interview with Aleksander Barkov

Exclusive interview with Aleksander BarkovEurolanche did an exclusive interview with Aleksander Barkov - 4th ranked player of this year´s NHL Draft. Media reports the Avs have interest in him.

Aleksander Barkov was born in 1995 in Tampere, Finland. His father, Aleksander Barkov, was a famous Russian hockey player who played 21 seasons in Russia, Italy and Finland. Barkov jr. holds dual Finnish and Russian citizenship. He played in the elite Finnish league in the last two seasons for the team of Tappara Tampere. In total 85 games he scored 28 goals and added 36 assists for 64 points. In October 2011 he became the youngest player ever in the league that scores a point (it was an assist on goal).

Barkov was the youngest member of the Finnish roster in December 2011 for the World Junior Championship. At the age of 16 and 4 months he scored a goal in the quarterfinal game against Slovakia. He became the second-youngest player who managed to do that in history of this tournament.

According to projected NHL Draft´s ranking for this year, Barkov is placed on the 4th place. The Colorado Avalanche fans noticed him for the first time after the NHL Combine. Media reported the Avalanche scouts asked for the extra interview with Barkov what has clearly showed the interest in this player. Various sources are repeatly saying the Avs would like to draft Barkov.

According to NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, "Barkov is a skilled, mature center with good size and cool, smart center with excellent vision - very good playmaker and passer. Never panics. Good team player." Barkov was drafted by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL Draft 2012 of the 2nd place overall, but it does not mean anything.

You were born in Finland and your father is famous Russian hockey player Aleksander Barkov. Why did your family move to Finland? Your father did not want to move back to Russia after couple of years in Finland?

They moved to Finland because my dad went to play to Team Tappara Tampere. He played here 10 years and I was born during his second season. He liked very much playing here and he didn´t want to go back to Russia.

You have both Russian and Finish passport. Do you feel more Russian or Finish?

I feel more Finnish of course. I was born in Finland and grew up here. I have everything from Finland. In Russia I speak Russian of course but that’s all.

You gained lot of experiences with the elite league in Finland considering you are still only 17 years old. Why didn´t you go to show your skills to one of three top Canadian junior hockey leagues? Do you think the elite Finish hockey was better option for you than the juniors in Canada?

I like Finnish elite league and this is very good league too. I have never thought about CHL when I got moved up to the men´s first team. I know that CHL are very popular and good leagues but here in Finland I play against men and gained a lot of experience.

According to reports, the Colorado Avalanche´s scouts requested an extra interview with you at the NHL Combine. What is your feeling of this interview and entire NHL Combine? Would you be happy if the Avalanche picks you?

Yes, I had an extra interview with them. Whole Combine went pretty well. There were no difficult questions at all for me. I didn’t know that my English is so good. I will be very happy if Colorado picks me. But of course I will be very happy if someone else picks me too, because I have always dreamt about the NHL.

What kind of skills can you offer to your first NHL team and what aspects of your game would you like to improve during this summer?

IMO I have only one thing which I have to improve the most for the NHL - my skating. Explosiveness in my skating. I think everything else is on good level but of course that´s not enough to be a good player in NHL someday.

Your favorite NHL team and a player as a kid? Your favorite movie, book and non-hockey activity?

Colorado. Eric Lindros. I dot have a favorite movie or book. Tennis.  

Sources of the photos: www.iltasanomat.fi, yle.fi and blogs.edmontonjournal.com


David Puchovsky, Slovakia, eurolanche@eurolanche.com
21/06/2013 - 15:00 Eurolanche book - banner

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