This fantasy hockey season, there are a plethora of young stars ready to make an impact for fantasy owners. RW Valeri Nichushkin of the Dallas Stars has already earned his spot among the top lines, while Colorado Avalanche C Nathan Mackinnon is seeing a similar role with his squad.
One youngster that is being somewhat forgotten this fantasy season, though, has been C Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers. Barkov, who is affectionately nicknamed Sasha, was one of the top skaters in the entire 2013 NHL Draft. He was grabbed second overall in the first round and was one of the most coveted kids in the entire draft.
The Finnish-Russian forward has outstanding size (6’3”-210 pounds) and is impossible to bump off the puck. He knows how to finish and he plays above-average defense for a forward that is predominantly attacking. He has a very bright future ahead of him and he could surprise people as the best goal scorer in this rookie class.
The 18-year-old will likely center the second line along side LW Jonathan Huberdeau and RW Brad Boyes early in the year. He will be given every chance to stay with the club, and if he succeeds early on, he won’t be forced to head to the AHL. Barkov likely won’t be an elite fantasy option just yet, but he will be one of the best rookies to stash away in any type of dynasty league.