Panthers Insider

Sochi Bound

Forwards Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky selected to represent their countries at Olympics in Russia.
Tuesday, 01.7.2014 / 10:45 AM ET
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com / Panthers Insider
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Shooting for Olympic gold.

For Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov (Finland) and Tomas Kopecky (Slovakia) that’s exactly what they’ll be doing come February as they were selected on Tuesday to represent their country at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

For the Flying Finn, it will be a big honor, as the Panthers young gun will join Finnish great Teemu Selanne, who is suiting up in his sixth Olympics, among others.

At just 18-years old, it is believed that Barkov will be the youngest Finnish hockey player to play in an Olympics since 1952 when Erkki Hytonen played as an 18-year old. Hytonen turned 19 in May following the games in Oslo, Norway.

Barkov has led the way for Florida in his rookie season after being selected second overall in this past summer’s NHL Entry Draft, posting a team-high 22 points (7-15-22). The Finn has posted 12 points in his last 12 games and his current six-game point streak (1-6-7) is tied with Jesse Belanger and Kristian Huselius for the longest in franchise history by a Panthers rookie. The center has competed for Finland at two World Junior Championships in 2012 and 2013.

It will be Kopecky’s second Olympics. He helped lead Slovakia to the bronze medal game in Vancouver in 2010 but the Slovaks fell short in a 5-3 game to Finland.

“Just to see all the athletes, not just the hockey players but any other athletes, figure skaters, all the guys competing for the medal, it's just a great experience,” said Kopecky on Monday morning before finding out he was going.

In his third season with the Panthers since being acquired in a trade from Chicago, Kopecky has recorded 68 points (29-39-68) in 165 games.

Kopecky has competed for Slovakia at two World Championships besides the Olympics in Vancouver, suiting up for the Slovaks in 2010 and 2013.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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