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Sochi Bound

Forwards Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky selected to represent their countries at Olympics in Russia.
Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 10:45 AM
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com / Panthers Insider

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 - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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