I am Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov, born and raised in Finland with Russian roots. Ice hockey is my passion and profession. At the moment, I am playing my 5th season with the Florida Panthers. Here in Florida, most people call me Barky. I am not sure how this name came about, but I kind of like it. I also like to drive fast cars and play video games. When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a professional gamer, but fortunately my parents insisted on me becoming a hockey player instead.
So far, my most memorable NHL season with the Panthers was the 2015-2016 season, when we made it to the NHL playoffs after a very long wait. I was also very proud to represent Finland at the World Championships in Russia, where we won the silver medal. I have been nominated for the 2016 Lady Byng award and EA Sports NHL 2017 cover. Furthermore, I was recently selected for the 2018 NHL All Stars game that was held in Tampa. Apart from my hobbies and hockey, I am also passionate in doing charity work. I find it important to help the less fortunate.
Scroll down to get to know the man on and beyond the ice hockey rink.
People may wonder about what it takes to be a professional ice hockey player and there is no simple answer to this question. What I do is I try to learn from my mistakes and work hard on my weaknesses. Sometimes it can be tough, but you have to stay dedicated and keep on trying. Every single day is a new challenge. It takes courage and passion to test your own limits during the training and more importantly during the games. It is a long and difficult journey, but there are so many great rewards along the way.
I never rely on good fortune. I believe in hard work and achieving my goals through dedication and sweat. I enjoy intense training, because I am sure it is the only way to improve my weaknesses and enhance my core strengths. Work hard, play hard is my daily motto.
I decided to become a professional ice hockey player a long time ago. I don´t need to separate my personal life from my career, because hockey is my whole life. Surely, things are not always perfect. There are times when I need to push myself hard, to stay committed.
Sometimes hard work and dedication are not enough to achieve results. Another important thing to me is courage to try new things and be creative. World changes, life changes, ice hockey changes. You have to keep changing yourself as well to stay on top.
Everyday is a great day for hockey.
I train everyday of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs.
I´ve always dreamed of playing Ice Hockey in the National Hockey League.