canada africa partner reservation Florida Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov is a Selke Trophy finalist

Florida Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov is a Selke Trophy finalist

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Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) celebrates his goal with teammates Sam Reinhart (13), Carter Verhaeghe (23) and Brandon Montour (62) during the first period of a hockey game on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

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The announcement was expected, but for Aleksander Barkov it was still a moment of honor.

For the third time in four seasons, the Florida Panthers captain was named a finalist for the NHL’s Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s best two-way players.

Barkov won the prize in 2021 and was also a finalist in 2022.

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Auston Matthews of Toronto and Jordan Staal of Carolina are the other finalists.

“It means a lot,” Barkov said on Sunday shortly after the announcement was made. “Every year I just try to do my job and be as good as I can both defensively and offensively. Playing in a good team with good systems and great teammates also helps. It means a lot. It’s definitely something great.”

How good has Barkov been on both ends of the ice this season? The numbers tell the story well.

In 73 regular season games, Barkov scored 80 points (23 goals, 57 assists). He led all Panthers in rushing yards with a plus-33 rating and had a career faceoff winning percentage of 57.3. He ranked second on the team in assists (57), third in points (80) and power play points (29), and fourth in goals (23).

Meanwhile, he led all NHL skaters who skated in at least 70 games this season in on-ice goals for a five-on-five percentage (69.7 percent), with Florida outscoring opponents 53-23 when Barkov was fully on the ice was standing. -power situations.

“There are a handful of guys … who are willing to make their offense less noticeable,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “Everyone knows your good offensive players who can make incredible plays, but I don’t think he comes to the rink with the intention of showing that. He comes to the rink to help his team win, so his decisions are always pure hockey. He’s standing to the right of the puck. He is capable of great things offensively, but he prioritizes winning.”

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and followed the Gators’ athletics program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.