Sasha Barkov became the first player from the Florida Panthers to ever win the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2021 but will have to wait at least another year to win the franchise its second.
Barkov placed third in voting for the 2021-22 Selke Trophy which was released on Sunday afternoon.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron won the Selke for a record fifth time; Bob Gainey won the award the first four years from its existence from 1978-81.
The Selke is awarded to the “forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
It is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Bergeron, who first won the Selke in 2012, won the 2021-22 voting by the biggest margin among his five Selke triumphs.
He appeared on 194 of the 195 ballots cast and pulled in 160 first-place votes for 1,798 voting points.
Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames finished second and was named on 157 ballots; Barkov had 10 first-place votes and ended third with 746 points. He was left off of 55 ballots as voters selected their top five finalists.
Barkov was hampered in his quest to win the Selke for a second consecutive year not only by a terrific season by Bergeron, but by missing a bunch of games early in the season.
Of the five finalists, Barkov played the fewest games — missing 13 due to injury and sitting out the final two games of the regular season.
“It was tough to be out, but at the same time the team was doing well, so I did not have to rush back,” Barkov said.
”I was able to concentrate on being 100 percent ready to play in the games. I took my time, we have great trainers here, they got me ready to play and after that I was just playing games and feeling great.”
Barkov’s 67 games were 10 fewer than Bergeron and 15 less than what Lindholm played.
Still, Barkov had a career-high 39 goals and his 88 points were second only to the 96 he scored in 2018-19. That had been the highest point total in Panthers’ history before Jonathan Huberdeau beat it this season.
When it came to points, Barkov ended with more than any of the five finalists — 23 more than Bergeron.
“He’s had a great season, kind of quietly,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said last month.
”Other guys have had career season and Jonathan Huberdeau’s season has been off the charts, so he gets lost in the shuffle a little bit.”
Barkov will start next season with a new eight-year, $80-million contract which is the longest and richest in franchise history.
For transparency purposes, here is how I voted for the Selke; the final voting is below.
- Patrice Bergeron, Boston
- Aleksander Barkov, Florida
- Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis
- Elias Lindholm, Calgary
- Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay