Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier finished second to the Kings’ Anze Kopitar in the voting for the Selke Trophy at the 2018 NHL Awards. Couturier received 37 first-place votes while Kopitar received 70 first-place votes to take home the hardware. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, a seven-time finalist for the award, finished third. The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL’s best defensive forward as voted on by the PHWA (Professional Hockey Writers Association).
Selke Trophy voting breakdown (voted on by PHWA) pic.twitter.com/1W8uySWsNX— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 21, 2018
After being elevated to the Flyers’ No. 1 center with Claude Giroux moving to the wing, Couturier posted a career season in the role. The 25-year-old notched career highs in goals (31), assists (45), points (76), and plus/minus (+34). He also led the Flyers with nine points (five goals, four assists) in the playoffs and scored a hat trick on a torn MCL in game six against the Penguins.
Couturier was a first-time finalist for the award, having finished ninth in the voting back in 2013-14 as a 21-year-old. He was also vying for the third Selke in Flyers history along with Dave Poulin in 1987 and Bobby Clarke in 1983. That’s pretty good company for the Flyers’ top pivot, and one would figure there are bound to be at least one Selke in his future given his always solid two-way play along with his growing offensive impact.