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Panthers captain Barkov wins Selke Trophy for second time
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He was picked for best defensive forward with 165 out of the 194 votes

For the second time in four seasons, Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov has been honored with the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward. Barkov, who first won the award in the 2020-21 season and finished third the following year, received overwhelming support with 165 out of 194 first-place votes, accumulating a total of 1,817 voting points. He appeared on all but two of the ballots from the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal finished second with 539 points, while Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews came in third with 514 points.

During the 2023-24 campaign, Barkov excelled defensively, winning 57.3 percent of his faceoffs (630 out of 1,100). He led the Panthers in takeaways with 61 and blocked 50 shots, ranking fourth among Florida forwards. Additionally, Barkov scored 80 points (23 goals and 57 assists) in 73 games and played a crucial role in the Panthers’ defense, which allowed only 198 goals during the regular season, tying for the league lead with the Winnipeg Jets.

Barkov’s stellar performance has been instrumental in leading Florida to their second consecutive Eastern Conference finals appearance. The Panthers secured their spot with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 6. They will face the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday in New York.