Aleksander Barkov risks 'most underrated' status with sensational game vs. Leafs

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The strong play of Florida’s Aleksander Barkov at both ends of the ice made him the best player on the ice in the Panthers-Leafs game on Saturday night. Considering how good Toronto’s Mitch Marner was, that’s saying something. (Getty)
The strong play of Florida’s Aleksander Barkov at both ends of the ice made him the best player on the ice in the Panthers-Leafs game on Saturday night. Considering how good Toronto’s Mitch Marner was, that’s saying something. (Getty)

This is a wake-up call to the captain of the Florida Panthers, Mr. Aleksander Barkov.

If you plan to remain the most underrated player in the NHL, stop with the sensational performances against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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The second overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft seemed to never leave the ice in his team’s 4-3 overtime victory over Toronto on Saturday night.

Following some beautiful passing from teammates Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov, the 23-year-old ripped the puck into the top of the net to open the scoring with only a few seconds remaining in the first period.


Fast-forward to three minutes and 24 seconds into overtime, and with a game-high 27 minutes and 41 seconds logged, Barkov completed his hat trick with this ridiculous to move, and earned himself a richly deserved breather.


Talk about tossing a team onto your back and getting the job done.

He now has 14 goals and 31 points in as many games this season.

In November of this year, NHL.com surveyed 61 players to determine who is the league’s most underrated individual. Barkov led the way by collecting 10 of the 56 votes that were cast.

As his production continues to trend upwards, don’t be surprised to see that number go down.

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