Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

JJ's View from the booth: My award ballot

Flyers broadcaster award votes as the Flyers near the end of the regular season

by Jim Jackson @JimJPhilly

The regular season is winding down and the Flyers still have some work to do in order to secure their berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Still, it has been a season of achievement for so many of the members of the team. So, without further adieu, here are my 2018 season award winners, along with some recognition for players through some awards that I basically made up:

 

BOBBY CLARKE TROPHY (TEAM MVP): CLAUDE GIROUX

The captain has been a force from the very first day of training camp. Giroux was all in on switching his position from center to left wing and that move set the foundation for what has been a dynamic combination with Sean Couturier on the top line. Head Coach Dave Hakstol said Giroux bought in without hesitation, and with that move, set in motion perhaps the best season of his career. He's on his way to new career highs across the board, is among the NHL leaders in assists, points, and faceoff percentage, and his teammates will tell you he's a leader in the locker room with his quiet determination.  

His will to win is off the charts. Sounds like the description of an MVP to me. His season has been so good that he could probably have won as many as five or six of the other awards listed here. But, to spread things out, we'll keep it to one award per player.

 

BARRY ASHBEE TROPHY (BEST DEFENSEMAN): IVAN PROVOROV

This was the toughest choice of all. Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere have both been tremendous. It's actually almost impossible to choose between them. Provorov has been a horse. He's the man you want out there whether the team is up a goal or down a goal. He logs the most minutes on the team, reads plays exquisitely, and is becoming more of a force on the offensive end as time goes by. Gostisbehere has merely become only the fourth defenseman in Flyers' history to record 60 points in a season. His dynamic skillset makes him one of the most dangerous defenseman on the powerplay in the NHL. Provorov gets this practically on a coin flip. The Flyers are blessed to have had two such great performers on the blue line.

 

PELLE LINDBERGH MEMORIAL TROPHY (MOST IMPROVED PLAYER): TRAVIS KONECNY

Konecny has blossomed before our eyes in the second half of the season. He's gone from a bottom six forward, to a key component of the team's top line. He still takes risks, but with his energy and production, you can live with those. There have been several games in the last two months, where Konecny was the spark plug that either helped turn a game around or delivered in the clutch.

 

YANICK DUPRE CLASS GUY MEMORIAL AWARD: SCOTT LAUGHTON

Laughton is always available to talk about the game and his teammates will tell you he is also one of the funniest players on the team. Andrew MacDonald would be a good choice here too. But we'll save another award for him.

 

GENE HART MEMORIAL AWARD (PLAYER SHOWING MOST HEART): WAYNE SIMMONDS

This could also be named the True Grit award. Simmonds has been playing through pain all season with a variety of ailments and yet he is always there to stick up for a teammate, trying to win puck battles and be a force on the power play. Through it all he's managed to approach another 25+ goal season.  

 

BOUNCE BACK AWARD: SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE

Giroux is obviously a candidate here too, but let's not forget about Ghost. From 39 points and -21 last season to 60+ points and a +5 this time around, the rebound from 2016-17 is obvious in the numbers, but it goes far beyond that. Gostisbehere has upped his compete level defensively to go along with a return to his at times, spectacular prowess on the offensive end. The result is a blueliner that spends much of the game on the top pair with Provorov facing the best line of the other team.  

 

THE BREAKOUT AWARD: SEAN COUTURIER 

Couturier has been so good this season, he would have been a suitable choice as team MVP or even most improved player. Giroux, himself, might even say Couturier is the MVP. The 25 year old's season is most definitely a breakout year though. He obliterated his career highs in just about all offensive categories, while maintaining his excellence on the other side of the puck. His conscientious approach to the game allows Giroux and Konecny to freely work their magic on that top line and Couturier is learning to find his spots on the powerplay as well.

 

THRILL A MINUTE AWARD: JAKE VORACEK

Voracek's creativity and skill have helped produce a career best season. The coaching staff allows Jake a little more leeway with east-west playmaking and daring pass attempts simply because he creates so much offense with that approach. He makes plays few others in the NHL can. Occasionally, it will lead to trouble at the other end of the ice, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. He's fun to watch.

 

UNSUNG HERO: ANDREW MacDONALD

He doesn't necessarily get a lot of love from the media or even from most fans, but MacDonald has had a solid season. He blocks a lot of shots and steadies things defensively. And this season, he's even chipped in some offensively with a career high six goals. He's not physical nor flashy so he doesn't get much attention. But every team needs guys on the back end who quietly take care of business.

 

FRESH FACE AWARD: NOLAN PATRICK

When you are the 2nd overall pick in the draft, much is expected of you. In Patrick's case probably too much early on from followers of the team given the time he missed last season due to injury. However, while it may have taken the 19 year old a little while to get going, it is proving to have been very much worth the wait. His entire game is developing as his health and confidence have improved. He's already contributing in many ways to the club and the best is yet to come. Honorable mention here to Robert Hagg, who led the NHL in hits for much of the season and promises to be a solid NHL defenseman for years to come.

 

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE UNTIL IT'S GONE AWARD: BRIAN ELLIOTT

His numbers didn't jump out at you, but when the Flyers were bouncing back from their ten game winless streak in the middle of the season, Elliott's steady hand and mature approach were smack dab in the middle of the recovery. He made so many clutch saves and gave the team a certain confidence. When he went down with the injury, the team lost some of that, whether it was from inconsistency from newcomer Peter Mrazak, lack of durability for Michal Neuvirth or the inexperience of Alex Lyon. Elliott's recovery is an important factor as the Flyers head to what they hope will be a playoff run.

Video: Hear from Brian Elliott as he continues to rehab

View More