If the midseason votes are the same in April, center Sean Couturier will become the first Flyers player to win the Selke Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best defensive forward, since Dave Poulin in 1987.

In the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s vote, which was released Thursday, Couturier finished first, followed by Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly.

A year ago, six of the eight midseason award winners were also victors at the end of the season.

Couturier has 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) and is plus-15, and he is fifth in the NHL in faceoff percentage, having won 58.33% of his draws.

Bergeron has 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists) and is plus-15, and O’Reilly has 43 points (9 goals, 34 assists) and is plus-1. Bergeron (58.32%, sixth in NHL) and O’Reilly (56.93%, eighth) are also among the leaders in faceoff percentage.

Bergeron has won the Selke four times, and O’Reilly won it last year.

Besides Poulin, Bobby Clarke (1983) is the only Flyer to have won the Selke.

Here were the PHWA’s other midseason winners:

Hart Trophy (MVP): Connor McDavid, Edmonton

Norris Trophy (top all-around defenseman): John Carlson, Washington

Calder Trophy (top rookie): Cale Makar, Colorado

Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship with a high standard of play): Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender): Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg

Jack Adams Award (top coach): Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh

Jim Gregory Award (top GM): Joe Sakic, Colorado

Rod Langway Award (top defenseman who excels in defensive aspects): Jaccob Slavin, Carolina

Comeback Player of Year: William Nylander, Toronto.

Tourney to aid special needs players

The seventh annual Lehigh Valley Winter Classic, a charity hockey tournament to aid local players with special needs, will be held Saturday at the Bethlehem Municipal Ice Rink.

The all-day, outdoor festival will run from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and include nine hockey games, 11 silent auctions, merchandise and food for sale, raffle baskets, music, and appearances by former NHL members.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the local Special Hockey of the Lehigh Valley Polar Bears team, which provides special needs players the opportunity to play hockey. The money raised goes toward ice time, tournament fees, equipment costs, USA Hockey fees, operational expenses, and an awards banquet.

Bill Clement, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Flyers, and Kerry Fraser, who worked more NHL games than any other referee in history, will be returning as ambassadors. They will bring along former NHL player Todd Fedoruk, who spent years in the league, including five seasons with the Flyers.

Flyers broadcaster Bill Clement, who won two Stanley Cups when he was a player with the team, will be one of the ambassadors of the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic, which benefits special needs hockey players.
Flyers broadcaster Bill Clement, who won two Stanley Cups when he was a player with the team, will be one of the ambassadors of the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic, which benefits special needs hockey players.

The event’s hosts, the Lehigh Valley Whalers, will face off along with 17 other local teams throughout the day. For more information, go to lvwinterclassic.com.