Over Florida’s 25-year history in the NHL, Barkov joins a group of captains including: Brian Skrudland (1993-94 to 1997-98), Scott Mellanby (1997-98 to 2000-01), Pavel Bure (2001-02), Paul Laus (2001-02), Olli Jokinen (2003-04 to 2007-08), Bryan McCabe (2009-10 to 2010-11), Ed Jovanovski (2012-13 to 2013-14), Willie Mitchell (2014-15 to 2015-16) and Derek MacKenzie (2016-17 to 2017-18).
Barkov is one of the most intelligent young two-way centers in the game today. This decision is not surprising at all.
“Aleksander Barkov is ready to be the captain of the Florida Panthers,” said Tallon. “He has all of the qualities of a great leader: unrivaled work ethic, wisdom beyond his years and the respect and admiration of his teammates. Aleksander’s determination and passion for the game have made him one of the NHL’s best and most complete players. The time was right for Aleksander to be named the captain of this franchise and I’m certain that he will bring the same high standard of class and dedication to the captaincy that he brings to the rink every single day.”
“Aleksander is the complete package,” said Panthers head coach Bob Boughner. “He’s a great person and a great player who leads by example both on and off the ice. In discussing the makeup of our leadership group for next season over the summer, Dale and I felt that the time was right to turn the responsibilities of captain over to Aleksander before this season. He’s learned a lot from Derek MacKenzie and our veteran leaders and I’m excited to watch him take on this challenge and responsibility. I know that he’s the right person at the right time to lead this team.”
Barkov, 23, served as a Panthers alternate captain for home games during the 2017-18 season. A 2018 NHL All-Star, Barkov set career highs in assists (51) and points (78) in 79 games during the 2017-18 season.