Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov snags Selke Trophy as NHL’s finest defensive ahead | CBC Sports activities

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Florida Panthers centre Aleksander Barkov has gained the Selke Trophy because the NHL’s finest defensive ahead for the primary time in his eight-year profession.

Barkov was introduced because the winner of the award Friday evening earlier than Vegas confronted Montreal in Recreation 3 of 1 semifinal sequence. He was a finalist for the primary time.

The 25-year-old Finn turned simply the fifth participant in league historical past to win each the Selke and the Girl Byng for gentlemanly conduct. He gained the Girl Byng in 2019.

Barkov ranked ninth amongst forwards averaging slightly below 21 minutes a sport and was tenth within the league with a successful proportion of 54.9 on faceoffs.

Boston centre Patrice Bergeron and Vegas winger Mark Stone had been the opposite finalists for the Selke, which is voted on by members of the Skilled Hockey Writers Affiliation. Golden Knights defenceman Alec Martinez supplied his endorsement of Stone after the workforce’s morning skate Friday.

“He is only a actually, actually good, full participant,” Martinez mentioned of Stone. “He is at all times selecting off passes, pulling down passes, stripping guys — issues like that. He is a 200-foot participant.”

So is Barkov, who helped Florida enhance its workforce defence, permitting a half a aim a sport lower than final season, and likewise put up 58 factors in 50 video games. The Panthers misplaced to defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in six video games within the first spherical. Barkov had seven factors in that sequence.

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