Aleksander Barkov signed an eight-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers on Friday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 26-year-old center is in the final season of a six-year contract he signed Jan. 26, 2016, and could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
“Over his past eight years in South Florida, Sasha has demonstrated his leadership, character and elite playmaking ability, cementing himself as one of the best all-around players in hockey,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “He has earned the respect of the hockey community through work ethic and a team-first attitude. Most importantly, he is a tremendous person, athlete and friend and we are thrilled to secure Sasha as our leader on and off the ice for the next eight years.”
Barkov led the Panthers with 26 goals in 50 games last season, and was second with 58 points, behind Jonathan Huberdeau (61). He scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Barkov, who is entering his fourth season as Panthers captain, was voted the winner of the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward in the NHL last season, and was voted the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in 2018-19.
Selected by Florida with the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Barkov has scored 465 points (181 goals, 284 assists) in 529 regular-season games and 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 16 playoff games.
He ranks second in goals, assists and points in Panthers history, trailing Olli Jokinen in goals (188), and Huberdeau in assists (330) and points (498).
Barkov, who was one of the first three players named to the Finland men’s hockey roster for the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Thursday, helped them win the bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.