Flyers

Flyers' Sean Couturier leads all Selke Trophy candidates in PHWA's 2019-20 NHL midseason awards

Flyers' Sean Couturier leads all Selke Trophy candidates in PHWA's 2019-20 NHL midseason awards

The Frank J. Selke Trophy has long been a reputation award. The players that win it have built up a brand and are rightfully recognized.

Sean Couturier's do-it-all brand is starting to become recognized.

In the Professional Hockey Writers Association's 2019-20 midseason awards, Couturier was the leading vote-getter for the Selke Trophy among the 117 writers who filled out ballots.

The Flyers' 27-year-old center, who is in his ninth NHL season, has never won the award, which is given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. In 2017-18, his breakout year, Couturier finished as a runner-up to the Kings' Anze Kopitar.

This season, once again, Couturier has been one of the Flyers' most valuable players. Through 50 games, he is tied for the team lead in points (43), first in assists (30) and even-strength points (35), second in shots (131), faceoff win percentage (58.3), takeaways (31) and plus-minus (plus-15), third in shorthanded minutes (101:51) and fourth in ice time per game (20:02).

Over his last 40 games since Oct. 29, Couturier has put up 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists), a plus-22 mark and 32 even-strength points, eighth most in the NHL, while the Flyers have gone 22-13-5 in that stretch.

"He plays that full 200-foot game, but he's also got some good offensive abilities," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said last month. "He goes to the net hard, you see him a lot times challenging defensemen 1-on-1 and not being afraid to bring that puck and go to the tough areas. He's got the ability to make plays with the puck, he plays power play and penalty killing and 5-on-5."

Among NHL forwards since 2017-18, Couturier is the only one to rank in the top 10 of even-strength points (155 — tied for ninth) and shorthanded time on ice (441:55 — eighth).

And among NHL centers since 2017-18, Couturier ranks fourth in ice time per game (21:26), tied for fourth in even-strength points, fifth in plus-minus (plus-51), tied for fifth in faceoff win percentage (55.9), seventh in shorthanded time on ice, 15th in assists (118) and tied for 17th in goals (77).

In the PHWA's Selke Trophy midseason voting, Couturier finished ahead of the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (four-time winner) and the Blues' Ryan O’Reilly (last season's winner).

He’s grown into a real solid two-way centerman. I don’t want to say ‘Bergeron type,’ I think Bergeron is obviously the role model in the league, but I think Coots is closing in on how good Bergeron is.

I think because he might not be as flashy or look as spectacular as some of the other guys, maybe people don't notice him as much. But I can tell you, the people in this room, the people that play with him every day, they notice him.

- Vigneault on Couturier, Dec. 4

Here are the full results for the PHWA’s 2019-20 midseason awards:

Hart Trophy to the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Norris Trophy — to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position.

1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes

Selke Trophy  to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

1. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Calder Trophy — to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.

1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
2. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
3. Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres

Lady Byng Trophy — to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Vezina Trophy — to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position.

1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes

Jack Adams Award — to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award — to the general manager adjudged to have contributed most to his team's success.

1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
2. John Chayka, Arizona Coyotes
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Rod Langway Award — to the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game.

1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Comeback Player of the Year Award — to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.

1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

NHL awards: Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault named finalist for Jack Adams honor

NHL awards: Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault named finalist for Jack Adams honor

On April 18, 2019, Alain Vigneault was asked about the frustrations among fans with the Flyers' current state.

It was the day general manager Chuck Fletcher and the team introduced Vigneault as the Flyers' new head coach.

"I understand people's disappointment, but I would say that's all behind us,” Vigneault said. “Chuck is here, he's new. I'm here, I'm new. Nothing I can do about what happened in the past — I can focus on the present and hopefully make the future what we all want it to be. I'm going to be on high alert, I'm going to work my butt off to get this done and I’m very confident that it's going to work out."

So far, the Flyers' decision to bring Vigneault on board has worked out well. That decision looked awfully good Wednesday as Vigneault was named a finalist for the 2019-20 Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year). It will look awfully great if the Flyers make a big run at the Stanley Cup in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Vigneault is up against Bruce Cassidy (Bruins) and John Tortorella (Blue Jackets) for the honor. The experienced 59-year-old bench boss won the award in 2006-07 with the Canucks and has finished second three times: 1999-00 (Canadiens), 2010-11 (Canucks) and 2014-15 (Rangers).

If Vigneault takes home the award, he'll become the fifth Flyers coach to do so. The other four are Fred Shero (1973-74), Pat Quinn (1979-80), Mike Keenan (1984-85) and Bill Barber (2000-01).

Vigneault very well could be this season's front-runner. The winner will be announced during the Conference Final series, which are slated to begin Sept. 8.

In just one season, Vigneault turned the Flyers into a top-six club a year after the team finished 22nd in the NHL at 37-37-8 with 82 points, its fewest over a full campaign since 2006-07.

Through a shortened 2019-20 regular season, the Flyers went 41-21-7 with 89 points in 69 games. According to Hockey-Reference.com, the team was projected to finish with 104 to 105 points, which would have been its most since a 106-point 2010-11 campaign.

With the abbreviated regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak, only four teams improved their point totals from 2018-19. The Flyers made the biggest jump with a seven-point increase despite playing 13 fewer games compared to last season, while the Oilers improved by four points (79 to 83), the Avalanche by two (90 to 92) and the Rangers by one (78 to 79).

Back in April 2019, there was a lot of buzz about Joel Quenneville, and justifiably so. The Flyers were thrilled to land Vigneault and we've seen why.

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

• Fans can purchase Flyers playoff shirts with new slogan

• What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

• Juicy opponent for Flyers' exhibition game; some start times announced

• Flyers release training camp roster as they gear up for 24-team tournament

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

Hockey insider details Flyers’ hotel, importance of training camp 

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers near next steps toward return

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers shirts on sale for fans

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers shirts on sale for fans

VOORHEES, N.J. — With the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs being held in August and at a neutral location without fans, the Flyers are rocking shirts with a slogan that reads: "Anytime. Anywhere."

"It’ll be tough for some guys being away from their families and friends, so that’s going to be an adjustment," Carter Hart said Tuesday. "For now, this is our family. This is our hockey family we have and that’s the way we have to look at it."

The Flyers are in the midst of training camp to gear up for their trip to Toronto, where they'll compete in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

So fans will not be flocking to the Wells Fargo Center for playoff hockey. But they can rally around the team with playoff gear, which is on sale in a variety of looks.

“The fans' response to our players’ locker room tees was overwhelming,” Flyers and Wells Fargo Center senior vice president of marketing Mark Zarthar said in a statement released by the team Wednesday.

“Since fans won’t be able to watch our playoff run in person, we are doing everything possible to make them feel connected to the team as they begin their quest to bring the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia.”

Fans can purchase playoff merchandise right here.

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

 What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

• Flyers release training camp roster as they gear up for 24-team tournament

• Juicy opponent for Flyers' exhibition game; some start times announced

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

Hockey insider details Flyers’ hotel, importance of training camp 

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers near next steps toward return