Aleksander Barkov first Panthers player to win Selke Trophy

Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov was named the NHL’s Frank J. Selke Trophy winner Friday, an annual honor given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

Barkov earned the award over finalists Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights. He is the first Panthers player to win the award.

Aleksander Barkov wins Selke Trophy

“Obviously I want to thank all of my teammates, the whole organization of the Florida Panthers, coaches, management,” said Barkov. “Without them, it would never be possible.”

Barkov, 25, also became the fifth player in league annals to win both the Selke and Lady Byng (sportsmanship) awards in his career, having won the Lady Byng in the 2018-19 season. He had finished in the top six in voting for the Selke on three other occasions, while this was his first as a finalist.

“I want to congratulate ‘Bergy’ and Stone for great seasons too and good luck to Stone as well in the (Stanley Cup Playoffs),” Barkov said. “Those are two guys I really look up to. There are a lot of different players in the League I look up to as well, who I play against, but those two are really good players. So I like to play against them and see them play and take something for myself too.”

NHL

The eight-year veteran posted a team-high 26 goals along with 32 assists for 58 points, second on the Panthers, in 50 games this season. This marked his sixth straight season scoring 20 or more goals. He led the Panthers in scoring in 2018-19, his best season, with 96 points (35 goals, 61 assists).

In his eight NHL seasons, all with Florida, Barkov has 465 points (181 goals, 284 assists) in 529 career games. He was originally selected second overall by the Panthers in the 2013 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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