Florida Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky have been selected to represent their countries in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Barkov will be playing for Finland while Kopecky will be playing for Slovakia. Sean Bergenheim, who was a long shot to make the Finnish roster, was not selected.
At only 18-years-old, Barkov is the youngest player on Finland’s roster. The Panthers rookie has impressed this season as he leads Florida in scoring with 22 points (7-15-22). His selection to the Olympics was in doubt after a 21 game stretch from late October to early December where he only managed three points (1-2-3) but since then he has been on fire piling up 12 points in his last 12 games (3-9-12). He is also currently in the midst of a six game scoring streak (1-6-7).
Here is the complete Finnish roster.
Tomas Kopecky, 31, was selected to represent Slovakia in the Olympics for the second time in his career. Kopecky participated in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics where he played in seven games and recorded one goal. He has been an international fixture with Slovakia as he has represented his country at the 2010 Olympics, three World Junior Championships and two World Championships.
Kopecky has just nine points this year for the Panthers (4-5-9) but it was always expected that he would be representing his country in the Olympics regardless of his production.
The Slovaks will look to build on their success at the Vancouver Olympics where they made a surprise run to the semi-finals before falling to Finland in the bronze medal game. The Slovakian roster is highlighted by NHL stars Zdeno Chara, Marian Hossa, and Jaroslav Halak. Here is the full roster.
Tomas Kopecky and Aleksander Barkov are the only Panthers that will be representing their country at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Tomas Fleischmann was thought to have a chance to play for Czech Republic but he was left off the roster which was announced yesterday.
Most of the rosters have been announced for the Sochi Olympics with the two big remaining announcements coming from Russia and Canada later today. The Canadian roster will be announced at 11:00 a.m. ET and can be streamed online here.