NEW YORK — Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward, the league announced Saturday night.

Barkov, 28, is a two-time Selke winner after also finishing first in voting for the award in 2021. He was a big part of the Panthers allowing the fewest goals this season and won 57.3% of his faceoffs, ranking ninth among players with at least 50 games and 500 attempts.

The center from Finland received 156 of 194 first-place votes from members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and was listed on all but two ballots.

Teammate and forward Matthew Tkachuk, speaking after Friday night’s series-clinching win over the Boston Bruins called Barkov “the best player in the world right now,” adding that “I don’t really even have the words for what he’s doing for our team right now.”

Barkov has led Florida to a second consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference final. After helping the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights last summer, he will lead his team into the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, vs. the New York Rangers.

“We went through it last year, obviously, and that’s helped a lot,” Barkov told SportsNet Friday night after eliminating the Bruins. “But this year is a new year. We have new players, we’re just creating something new here, something really exciting. We’re really excited for this opportunity again, and we can’t wait to get going.”

Carolina Hurricanes veteran Jordan Staal finished second in voting, and Toronto Maple Leafs All-Star Auston Matthews finished third.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.