2) Aleksander Barkov
The Florida Panthers shocked the league when they passed up on defenseman Seth Jones for center Aleksander Barkov. The debate between the two players will be never ending but from an excitement standpoint, Barkov is the better pick. Now obviously NHL teams do not make their draft selections based off excitement potential, but from a fans point of view, a rookie center is WAAAYY cooler than a rookie defenseman.
Barkov will be making his much anticipated debut tonight against the Dallas Stars. Oddly enough, Barkov’s debut is kind of low pressure. There has been a lot of buzz around the Panthers recently but most of that buzz has been focused on Tim Thomas and the sale of the team. Those stories have gotten most of the media attention which has allowed Barkov to fly under the radar a little bit. The 18-year-old is not being looked at as the savior of the franchise, he is just one of many talented players the Panthers have in their system.
Hopefully his debut goes a bit smoother this:
Stars PR inadvertently left Barkov off tonights roster. They will fix #flapanthers
— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) October 3, 2013