Dec 4, 2013, 5:09 PM EDT
It was a long shot anyway, but Aleksander Barkov definitely won’t be playing in his third straight World Junior Hockey Championship.
Barkov, who represented Finland in the last two tourneys, will not be released from the Florida Panthers to play in this year’s event, GM Dale Tallon told the Miami Herald on Wednesday.
“There’s no way he’s going anywhere but here,” Tallon said. “We have to let him grow. He’s a big part of our future and our present.”
Barkov, 18, has 10 points through 28 games this year for Florida and sits fourth among all rookie forwards in TOI per game (16:55). The No. 2 overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft also sits first among all first-year players in faceoffs taken (403) and second in winning percentage (50.6).
Barkov isn’t the only Finnish NHLer eligible for this year’s tournament. Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta could go, but that seems extremely unlikely given he’s a regular fixture on the Pens’ blueline.
Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo’s first-round choice at the ’13 NHL Entry Draft, is also eligible. He’s currently playing for AHL Rochester and dealing with an injury, though.
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 20
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 54
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 44
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)