Barkov, Bergeron, Stone named Selke Trophy finalists

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Aleksander Barkov, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stone were named finalists for the Selke Trophy on Sunday.

The award is given annually to the forward voted best to excel in the defensive aspects of the game in the NHL as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The winner will be announced as part of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone during the Stanley Cup Semifinals or Stanley Cup Final.

Barkov ranked first among Florida Panthers forwards in takeaways (39) and average time on ice per game (20:56), second in blocked shots (37) behind Noel Acciari (63) and averaged 1:26 of shorthanded ice time per game. The center finished 15th in the NHL in face-off percentage (54.9, minimum 650 attempts) and took the 10th most faceoffs (1,026), winning the eighth most (563). 

Barkov, who scored 58 points (26 goals, 32 assists) in 55 games, helped the Panthers (37-14-5) finish second in the Discover Central Division and qualify for the postseason. He led all Florida skaters in SAT percentage (minimum 15 games played), with Florida taking 58.6 percent of all shot attempts when he was on the ice at 5-on-5. A first-time finalist, Barkov would be the first Panthers player to win the award.

Bergeron, who is trying to win the award for a record fifth time, ranked first in face-off percentage (62.5, minimum, 650 attempts). It was the 10th highest percentage among players to take at least that many face-offs since the stat was first tracked in 1997-98. The center ranked first in face-offs won (714), fifth in face-offs taken (1,147) and third in defensive face-off percentage (59.6 percent). Bergeron ranked first among Bruins forwards in blocked shots (36) and shorthanded ice time (97:48) and second in takeaways (35) behind Brad Marchand (42).

Bergeron, who scored 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) in 54 games, helped the Bruins (33-16-7) finish third in the MassMutual East Division and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston tied for the fourth-fewest goals allowed per game (2.39) in the NHL. Bergeron ranked first among Bruins forwards in SAT percentage (62.5, minimum 20 games played). A finalist for a record 10th consecutive season, Bergeron finished second last season and last won the Selke Trophy in 2016-17.

Stone led the NHL in takeaways (58) for the fifth time in his seven full NHL seasons; he finished second last season. He led Vegas Golden Knights forwards in ice time per game (19:04) and was third in shorthanded ice time (74:12). The right wing helped Vegas (40-14-2) to the most wins in the NHL, tie for the most points (82, Colorado Avalanche) and to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Vegas won the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals (124, 2.21 per game).

Stone, who led the Golden Knights with 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists), is a two-time finalist, finishing as runner-up in 2018-19. He would be the first wing to win the award since Jere Lehtinen with the Dallas Stars in 2002-03 and the first Golden Knights player to win.

Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers won the award last season.

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