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 “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.


Nugent-Hopkins, MacKinnon notable Team Canada junior camp invitees

Caps’ Forsberg, Ducks’ Lindholm highlight Sweden’s 2013 World Junior camp roster

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    Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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    Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

    The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

    So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

    You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

    Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

    Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

    Joffrey Lupul
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    Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

    The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

    This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

    From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

    “He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

    Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

    At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

    WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

    Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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    Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

    We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

    Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

    Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


    Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks


    Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

    Evgeny Medvedev, Nick Bjugstad
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    Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

    Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

    The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

    In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

    This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

    The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

    This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.