The Panthers were thought to have gone slightly off the board when they drafted Aleksander Barkov second overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. However, after watching him play in his first NHL game, the Panthers organization and fanbase knew the right decision had been made. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’ll take a look back at Aleksander Barkov’s first career NHL goal.
Barkov played in his first NHL game in the Panthers first game of the 2013-14 season on October 3rd, 2013 in Dallas against the Stars. Despite being just two years ago, the Panthers’ roster that night was noticeably different from what it is now, and so much so that only five players from the starting lineup are on the roster now. Barkov played on the second line with Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau and quickly put his defensive and offensive skills on display.
Ten minutes into the third period, the Panthers had an offensive zone faceoff which was won by Barkov. The puck would soon find its way to Jonathan Huberdeau who passed the puck to Barkov at the front of the net. Barkov got a quick shot off, but bodies soon went flying as a fight for the puck ensued. The puck would pop out to the top of the crease and right onto Barkov’s stick who then spun around and shot the puck past Kari Lehtonen.
This ended up as Barkov’s first NHL goal and point, and he also became the youngest player at 18 years and 31 days to score a goal in 71 years since the post-expansion era began in 1942. He would go on to tally four more points in his next four games.