The Florida Panthers have good reason to be excited about 2013 No. 2 overall pick Aleksander Barkov. He was a leading scorer for his team in the Finnish elite league last year as a 17-year-old and the now 18-year-old center is off to a history-making start in his NHL career.

Barkov scored a huge third-period goal for the Panthers Thursday night in his NHL debut a 4-2 win over Dallas. In doing so he both tied the game and became the youngest goal-scorer in the NHL's post-expansion era (which began in 1967).

According to NHL PR the last player to score a goal that was younger than Barkov's 18 years and 31 days was Ted “Teeder” Kennedy who did so for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 8 1944 at age 18 years 27 days. Just missed it.

he Finnish forward with Russian bloodlines was a surprise pick for Florida at No. 2 with the Panthers leaving dynamic winger Jonathan Drouin (who went No. 3 to the Lightning) and top defenseman Seth Jones (No. 4 to Nashville) on the board. The Panthers had an immediate need at center however and Barkov had pro experience coming into the year.