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Panthers C Aleksander Barkov wins second Selke Trophy

Panthers C Aleksander Barkov wins second Selke Trophy thumbnail
For the second time in four seasons, Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov was named the Selke Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defensive forward on Saturday night.Barkov, who also won the awar

For the second time in four seasons, Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov was named the Selke Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defensive forward on Saturday night.

Barkov, who also won the award for the 2020-21 season and finished third the following year, received 165 of 194 first-place votes and recorded 1,817 voting points. He was listed on all but two of the Professional Hockey Writers Association ballots.

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal finished second (539 points), ahead of Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (514).

Barkov won 57.3 percent of faceoffs (630 of 1,100) during the 2023-24 campaign. The 28-year-old led Florida in takeaways (61) and blocked 50 shots, fourth most among Panthers forwards. He tallied 80 points (23 goals, 57 assists) in 73 games and also played a key role in the Panthers allowing just 198 goals during the regular season, good for a share of the league lead with the Winnipeg Jets.

Barkov helped lead Florida to a second straight Eastern Conference finals appearance with Friday’s 2-1 Game 6 win over the Boston Bruins. The Panthers will face the Rangers in Game 1 on Wednesday in New York.

“We went through it last year, obviously, and that’s helped a lot,” Barkov told Sportsnet after Friday’s win. “But this year is a new year. We have new players, we’re just creating something new here, something really exciting. We’re really excited for this opportunity again, and we can’t wait to get going.”