NHL: 25 worst award snubs in the history of hockey: 22. Sean Couturier Selke Trophy 2018
Sean Couturier is a perennial Selke Trophy contender for a reason. He’s one of the best forwards in the league when it comes to playing both sides of the ice. He plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, a team that has been known for its two-way play.
Traditional stats are hard to really tell the impact of a defensive forward, so many of the voters struggle to find the right pick. They went with the Los Angeles Kings Anze Kopitar. He was a leader in the faceoff circle, and he led the league in penalty kill time. While those are both somewhat important stats, it’s not really the top-tier stats for defensive forwards. Winning faceoffs is just one component of playing a two-way game. Honestly, it’s a pretty insignificant one.
The other stat voters used to target was the dreaded plus/minus. All the candidates in this year’s Selke Trophy race had high +/- numbers. Couturier, to be fair, was also helped by this since he had one of the best =/- in the league.
This was the fight between the three players who are always in this conversation. It’s Kopitar, Couturier, and Patrice Bergeron. Kopitar ended up taking it as this was a little early for the Flyers center, but it definitely should have gone to the new guy. Some voters made a push for the new guy, but they went with the guy you’d expect. Sometimes, we just want the new guy to win, like in 2018.