Photo: Finnish forward Aleksander Barkov has already spent two seasons in Finland’s top league despite being only 17 years of age (courtesy of Nick Turchiaro/NHLI via Getty Images)
A fan looking for a player among the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft that is physically ready to move to the NHL next season might look no further than Finnish forward Aleksander Barkov, the 6'2”, 205-pound center who played for Tappara in Finland's top league, the SM-liiga.
Photo: Forward Vladimir Tkachev has been the scoring star so far for Russia at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The preliminary round has come and gone at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and Groups A and B each featured one fairly dominant team.
Photo: Finnish defender Jimi Kuronen is hoping that a strong showing at this U18 WJC tournament will help improve his 2013 draft position (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)
Not unlike their fellow Group A combatants, the Czech Republic, Finland feasted on Latvia in their first game of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. But the second game for the Finns was a much greater challenge, one that the team wasn't ultimately able to overcome as they lost to Russia, 3-1, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.
Photo: Forward Kasperi Kapanen and his teammates from Finland got off to a good start at the 2013 U18 WJC with a win over Latvia (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)
If the surname of Kasperi Kapanen sounds familiar to hockey fans, there is a good reason for that. Kasperi is the son of former NHL forward Sami Kapanen, whose stops in the NHL included the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers.
Photo: Finland’s U18 squad will look to offensively talented forward Artturi Lehkonen to provide some offensive punch to their lineup (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Finland hasn't won a U18 WJC gold since winning it twice in a row back in 1999 and 2000, but the potentital is there for this country to accomplish that feat once again.