SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Florida Panthers first year captain Aleksander Barkov just completed quite the NHL season.
Barkov, 23, set career highs in goals and assists (35g 61a) while setting a new Panthers franchise record for scoring with 96 points.
He played in all 82 games for Florida and only accumulated eight penalty minutes despite logging the second-most total ice time among all NHL forwards.
In recognition for such an amazing season, Barkov was named the winner of the NHL’s 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 is just the second player in Panthers franchise history to win the award; Brian Campbell won in 2012.
“The Florida Panthers organization is incredibly proud of Aleksander,” said Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon. “It’s a tremendous honor to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and we’re gratified that Aleksander’s exemplary character, sportsmanship and high standard of playing ability has been recognized in this manner.”
The announcement of Barkov’s name at the 2019 NHL Awards show was met with a large cheer from the crowd at the Mandala Bay in Las Vegas.
After taking the stage, Barkov joked, “We have more fans from Finland than from Florida here.”
Barkov is only the second Finnish-born player in NHL history to win the Lady Byng, behind Hall of Famer Jari Kurri who won in 1984.
According to the NHL, the Lady Byng voting wasn’t even close.
Barkov received 128 first-place votes for 1,463 voting points, finishing well ahead of St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly’s 713 points and Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan’s 568 points.