Sasha Barkov is officially underrated no more. On Friday, the captain of the Florida Panthers was named the winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy which goes to the NHL forward who “demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.’’
Barkov, who recently completed his eighth NHL season, beat out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights for the award.
“He’s had a tremendous year,” coach Joel Quenneville said before the start of the playoffs.
“I think Barky represents being a 200-foot player more than anybody in the game. His speed at both sides, both ways, he’s exemplified that consistency as well. He’s had a special year in a lot of ways.”
Barkov was named on 92 of the 100 ballots, including 62 first-place selections, for 780 voting points, ahead of Bergeron.
It is the first major player award won by a Florida player since Aaron Ekblad was named the league’s top rookie in 2015.
Jonathan Huberdeau also won the Calder Trophy in 2013.
Barkov previously won the Lady Byng Trophy which goes to the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability” in 2019.
Brian Campbell also won the Lady Byng in 2012.
Other Florida Panthers to win a postseason award are Jaromir Jagr (the Masterton Trophy in 2016) and Pavel Bure (Rocket Richard for most goals in 2000 and 2001).
Bill Zito is a finalist for the Jim Gregory Trophy for the GM of the Year. That award will be announced Sunday.
Coach Joel Quenneville placed third in voting for the Jack Adams Trophy which was announced Thursday.
This was one of Barkov’s best seasons in the NHL as he helped the Panthers to a second-place finish in the Central Division and a spot in the playoffs.
Barkov, 25, appeared in 50 games with Florida and scored 26 goals and 58 points. He led Florida in goals, even-strength goals (18), even-strength points (38) and shots on goal (176).
He also led Florida’s forwards in takeaways (39) and total ice time (1,046:52).
On Thursday, the NHLPA released its player poll — and Barkov fared pretty well.
Barkov finished third (behind Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron) as the NHL’s most-complete player getting 14.65% of the vote from his peers. Barkov also finished sixth as the league’s best stickhandler.
By winning the Selke, Barkov is also expected to be named to the All-NHL team — which would make him only the fourth Florida player to be so honored.
Barkov would join John Vanbiesbrouck, Bure and Roberto Luongo as an All-NHL player, although Huberdeau is expected to make the 2021 team as well.
“It means I’m probably doing something right,’’ Barkov told Florida Hockey Now last month when talking about potential awards.
“When the team is having success, that’s where all the recognition comes from. When the team starts to win games, everybody’s paying attention to us.
“They see our team, who is playing well. People are paying attention to our team and our players. It has been a lot of fun this season.’’