The Florida Panthers keep their captain and arguably one of the most underrated players in the NHL in Aleksander Barkov. Elliotte Friedman reported this signing to be an 8-year extension with a $10 million AAV. The deal is said to have over $70 million in signing bonuses.
Hearing Barkov extension comes in at 8x$10M, with majority coming in signing bonuses. Panthers step up and keep their captain.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 8, 2021
Aleksander Barkov has spent eight seasons with the Florida Panthers. He has been a consistent 20 goal scorer since his 3rd year in the league. In 529 career games, he has scored 181 goals to go along with 284 assists. He has also won the Lady Byng trophy back in the 2018-19 season and the Selke Trophy this 2020-21 season. Back before the 2018-19 season, Barkov was named the 10th captain in Florida Panthers history at 23. Now entering his age 26 season, Barkov is continuing his career in the sunshine state, being of the top 10 players in the NHL.
Barkov is an offensive weapon. He is phenomenal both when the puck is on his stick and when it is not. In his career, he has a 13.6% shooting percentage which hasn’t dipped below 10% since his rookie season. He is a pesky player but is also an intelligent player. Barkov registered only 98 PIMs throughout his eight seasons in the league. And in the faceoff circle, he has dramatically improved since his rookie campaign. In his first four seasons in the league, he put up faceoff win percentages of 48.8%, 46.1%, 49.2%, and 46.5%. Before the 2017-18 season, he turned it around and has improved his faceoff win percentage each year with 53.5%, 53.7%, 54.3%, and 54.9%. His game keeps improving, and because of how young he is, he will just keep getting better, especially if his team around him keeps improving too.
Panthers Season Outlook
Going into this season, the Florida Panthers have high expectations. After finishing 2nd in the Central Division last season, the Panthers were bounced by the Lightning in the first round. The Panthers made two significant signings this offseason to help boost the offense. After trading for Sam Bennett before last season’s trade deadline, the team gave Bennett a four-year extension. In the offseason, the Panthers also traded for Sam Reinhart from the Buffalo Sabres and signed him to a three-year contract. The Panthers also added jumbo Joe Thronton to add some veteran depth to the lineup. This team has high hopes for the year, and with the improvements they have made, this team could make some noise in the Atlantic this year.
If you have not had the pleasure of watching Aleksander Barkov play hockey. For whatever reason, it may be from out-of-market games or just not being a Panthers fan, here are some of his highlights from this past season. I promise they will not disappoint.
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