In a holiday spirited story, Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi offers up presents for some Philadelphia Flyers and immediately points out that with the way that Sean Couturier has been playing this season, he deserves an opportunity to be named a finalist for the Selke Trophy, given to the league’s top defensive forward, although recent trends have included an offensive aspect to the award as well. Couturier already has a career-high in goals scored this year with 16 (15 was his previous high in 2014-15) and is just eight points away from his career-high in points. Don’t forget it’s still just December.
Carchidi also notes that while on a 39-goal pace this year, Couturier also could garner all-star consideration this year. His offense, a new bonus for Philadelphia, is just that — a bonus. He always has been one of the team’s top defensive forwards as Philadelphia has always matched the 25-year-old center up against the other team’s top offensive player.
- Continuing with the same story, Carchidi also feels that any Flyers fan who hates the trade that sent Brayden Schenn to St. Louis in exchange for Jori Lehtera and a pair of first-round picks needs patience. Fans only see the swap of Schenn for Lehtera. On the surface, that trade looks quite lopsided with Schenn looking to have a career year with 17 goals and 40 points already this season. Lehtera’s two assists in 19 games leaves a lot to be desired. The scribe, however, says that 2017 first-round pick Morgan Frost, who was drafted with one of the two first-rounders the Flyers received in the deal, has been tearing up the OHL as he’s already put up 19 goals in 33 games for Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The 18-year-old center had 20 goals in 67 games last year. He should be a major piece of the team’s future. On top of that, there is another first-rounder coming in the 2018 draft.
- Carchidi also believes the team made a successful free agent move signing goaltender Brian Elliott to a two-year deal and believes Philadelphia should extend that even one more year. His 2.65 GAA and .913 save percentage have been respectable, despite the team going on a 10-game losing streak earlier this year. The 32-year-old veteran seems to possess a calming influence on his teammates and he might be a great addition in two years when the team brings in top goaltending prospect Carter Hart in the 2019-20 season. Hart, considered to be the goaltender of the future in Philadelphia, has a 1.32 GAA with his junior team, the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, and is currently playing with Canada on the World Junior team.