Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov of Tampere, Finland has won the Selke Trophy for the 2020-21 National Hockey League regular season. In an announcement made on Friday, Barkov, the Panthers captain, beat out Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights. The award is presented to the best defensive forward in the NHL each season.
Barkov had 26 goals and 32 assists for 58 points in 50 games. He was a +12 with 14 penalty minutes, 19 power play points, one shorthanded point, 38 even strength points, six game-winning goals, 176 shots on goal, 563 faceoff wins, a faceoff winning percentage of 54.9%, 37 blocked shots, 31 hits, 39 takeaways and 23 giveaways. Barkov’s lone shorthanded point was a game-winning shorthanded goal from Noel Acciari of Johnston, Rhode Island and MacKenzie Weegar of Ottawa, Ontario on March 15 in a 6-3 Panthers win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Barkov’s goal came at 13:36 of the third period, and broke a 3-3 tie.
According to Pro Hockey Rumors, Barkov became the fifth player in NHL history to win the Selke and Lady Byng Trophies in his career. Barkov won the 2019 Lady Byng Trophy (most gentlemanly player) for his only other NHL career trophy. The other four players to win both awards are Ron Francis of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Pavel Datsyuk of Sverdlovsk, Russia; Anze Kopitar of Jesenice, Slovenia; and Ryan O’Reilly of Clinton, Ontario.
Francis won the Lady Byng Trophy twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995 and 1998, and again with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002. He also won the Selke Trophy with the Penguins in 1995.
Datsyuk won the Lady Byng Trophy four times and the Seek Trophy thrice with the Red Wings. He won the Lady Byng Trophy four straight years from 2006 to 2009, and the Selke Trophy three straight years from 2008 to 2010.
Kopitar won the Selke Trophy in 2016 and 2018, and the Lady Byng Trophy in 2016 with the Los Angeles Kings. O’Reilly won the Lady Byng Trophy with the Colorado Avalanche in 2014, and the Selke Trophy with the St. Louis Blues in 2019.
Barkov is the first Panthers player in franchise history to win the Selke Trophy. He becomes the second person from the Central Division to win a major NHL award this season. On Thursday, Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes won the Jack Adams Award, presented to the top NHL coach.
In other NHL news, the Stanley Cup semifinals are underway. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the New York Islanders in one Stanley Cup semifinal two games to one, while the Montreal Canadiens lead the Vegas Golden Knights two games to one in the other Stanley Cup semifinal.