Flyers' Sean Couturier Wins 2019-20 Selke Trophy as Top Defensive Forward

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2020

Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier plays during an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the first time in his career as the top defensive forward in the NHL.

Couturier earned the most votes over finalists Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly.

The 27-year-old had been a finalist for the Selke in the past, but he was finally recognized for the honor after a breakout 2019-20 season. The Phoenix native excelled in all phases of the game, with his 59 points in 69 games ranking second on the Flyers.

On the defensive end, he tallied 60 hits and 40 takeaways while helping to limit elite opposing players.

"Couturier found a way to elevate his game every time he matched up against a star this season," Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic wrote in March, noting the nine-year veteran led the Flyers to a 19-6 goal advantage versus elites according to Puck IQ's quality of competition statistic.

The forward had a plus-21 rating while averaging 19 minutes and 50 seconds of ice time per game, making him one of the most reliable players for a team that finished second in the Metropolitan Division.

Add in the fact that he won a league-high 59.7 percent of faceoffs, and Couturier was one of the best all-around players in the NHL.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

After helping the Flyers reach the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, this award is another noteworthy honor to his resume.