Aleksander Barkov's impact on the Panthers, and how he's taken the mantle as best two-way player in the NHL

Patrice Bergeron’s departure from the NHL this past summer obviously left a massive opening atop the Boston Bruins depth chart down the middle that would be difficult to fill, which they’ve remarkably done one heck of a job of patching together thus far. 

But it also created a void every bit as glaring atop the Selke Trophy conversation as well. He’d won the award in each of the past two seasons quite decisively, totalling 187 out of 196 possible first-place votes last season. Even as he crept into his late 30s, he truly cemented himself as the gold standard of two-way excellence, consistently operating at a level that was simply unmatched by his peers. 

His retirement created an opportunity for someone from the current crop to step up and take that mantle though, and if the first 30 games or so this year are any indication, that role appears to have been filled rather admirably by Aleksander Barkov.

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NHL Florida Panthers NHL Aleksander Barkov
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