Aleksander Barkov’s debut in a Florida uniform will have to wait.
On Thursday, the Panthers announced that Barkov — the second overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — will be held out of this weekend’s prospects tournament in Coral Springs, Fla.
Panthers GM Dale Tallon made it pretty clear Barkov’s being held out as a precautionary measure, to ensure he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season.
“We’re looking at this long term; this is more of a need for us,” Tallon told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They’re all good players. We’re very happy with [Barkov].
“He’s a big, strong left-handed shot centerman which we desperately needed in our system.”
Barkov, 18, had shoulder surgery in April and, while he did attend Florida’s July prospect camp, didn’t take part in any practices or the intra-squad scrimmage.