Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov will remain in the NHL rather than play for Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Barkov, who has played in the tournament the past two years, will not be released by the Panthers, the team that selected him with the second pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.
"There's no way he's going anywhere but here," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told the Miami Herald. "We have to let him grow. He's a big part of our future and our present."
Barkov has four goals and six assists in 28 games this season, and he's fourth among rookie forwards with an average ice time of 16:55 per game.