SUNRISE, Fla. - The National Hockey League announced today that Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov has been named one of three finalists for the 2017-18 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy awarded to "the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability".
Barkov, 22, led the Panthers with a career-best 78 points (27-51-78) and 51 assists in a career-high 79 games played. With an assist on March 15 against the Boston Bruins, the 6-foot-3, 213-pound native of Tampere, Finland, became the first Panther to reach the 70-point mark in a decade (Olli Jokinen, 71 points, 2007-08). His five shorthanded goals led the NHL this season and tied Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure (2000-01) for second in franchise history for single-season shorthanded goals.
Named a 2018 NHL All-Star for the first time this season, Barkov played in all situations for the Panthers producing career numbers in power-play points (5-12-17), shorthanded goals/points (5-0-5), shots on goal (256), faceoff percentage (53.9%), faceoffs won (908) and blocked shots (67), while ranking fifth in the NHL for takeaways (82).
Barkov averaged a career high 22:04 of ice time per game, finishing second in the NHL among forwards to Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles, 22:05). One of only two NHL forwards to log over 22:00 minutes per game on average, Barkov led all NHL forwards in ice time for the majority of the season (until April 5). Barkov accumulated only 14 penalty minutes, the fewest among the six NHL forwards who averaged at least 21 minutes of ice time per game. Barkov posted only one penalty (2 PIM) in the final 32 games of his season (Feb.1-April 5).
Florida's second overall pick in 2013, Barkov has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the second time in his career and the second time in three seasons. Barkov finished second in Lady Byng voting in 2015-16. Defenseman Brian Campbell is the only Panther to have won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (2011-12).
Barkov joins William Karlsson and Ryan O'Reilly as the finalists for this season's Lady Byng. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) at the conclusion of the regular season and will be announced during the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 20.
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