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Illness will sideline European prospect Barkov

by Mike G. Morreale

Forward Aleksander Barkov, considered by many to be the top European prospect on the board for the 2013 NHL Draft, will be sidelined at least one game with an illness.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound left-hander, who plays for Tappara in the Finnish Elite League, will miss Wednesday's game against Karpat.

"I talked to the coach and he told me he'd miss his first game [Wednesday] and might miss Nov. 29 [against Jokerit] and Dec. 1 [against Lukko]," Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told via email. "It is nothing serious."

In 26 games for Tappara this season, Barkov has produced 13 goals, 27 points and a plus-10 rating.

Barkov was named the best player at the Under-20 4-Nation Tournament in Sundsvall, Sweden, in November for silver medal-winning Finland. He had three assists in three games, finished with a plus-2 rating and won 59 percent of his faceoffs. He was on the ice for eight of his country's nine goals in the tournament.

"He's big, strong and a hard worker in all areas of the ice," 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."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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