Top European prospect Barkov highlights Finland’s junior camp roster

Team Finland has announced the group of players looking to win a World Junior medal for the first time in six years.

On Monday, the Finns — who haven’t finished in the top three since winning bronze in 2006 — released their camp roster for the 2013 tournament, which will be played in Ufa, Russia on Dec. 26.

The invitee likely to get the most buzz is Aleksander Barkov, considered by many to be the No. 1 European prospect for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Barkov, 17, currently plays in the Finnish league with Tappara and leads the team in scoring with 28 points in 28 games.

“He’s big, strong and a hard worker in all areas of the ice,” Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. “He’s a sniper who can also set up scoring chances for teammates. He’s a two-way center with a good understanding of his defensive duties, stickhandles well in tight situations, and always seems to come out as a winner.

“He’ll probably go among the top three at the draft.”

Barkov is expected to star for Finland like he did at the U-20 Four Nations Tournament in November. He posted three assists in three games, winning 59 percent of his faceoffs and being on the ice for eight of his team’s nine goals as Finland captured silver.

That said, Barkov will not be alone in trying to snap Finland’s medal drought — he’ll be aided by a trio of recent first-round picks:

— Joel Armia, taken 16th overall by Buffalo in 2011

— Teuvo Teravainen, taken 18th overall by Chicago in 2012

— Olli Maatta, taken 22nd overall by Pittsburgh in 2012

For the full Team Finland roster, click here.

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    Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

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    Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

    McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

    With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

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    2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
    3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
    4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

    As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

    Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

    The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

    Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

    Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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    Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

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    McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

    Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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    The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

    They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

    The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

    Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

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    Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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    Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

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    Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

    via Getty Images

    The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.