The Philadelphia Flyers have selected Sean Couturier eighth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Couturier’s six-foot-four, 195-pound frame make him a strong candidate to be in the NHL sooner rather than later. It isn’t his size, though, that’s going to get him there.
The Drummondville forward who led all draft eligible CHLers in points-per-game with 1.66 has soft hands and is a great playmaker, seeing the ice well and able to dish out timely, accurate passes to teammates.
Perhaps what makes Couturier most appealing is his play in all three zones. Never was this more evident than at the 2011 World Junior Championship, where the centre was the lone draft eligible in the lineup for Canada. In a third line role, Couturier did all that was expected of him and more.
Though his skating isn’t a huge detraction, Couturier can be aided by quicker feet and sharper turns. His straight line speed is adequate, but Couturier loses speed in transition.
His speed certainly didn’t stop him in the QMJHL. Couturier beat out Jonathan Huberdeau as the Mike Bossy Trophy recipient as the league’s top draft prospect. He also captured the Michel Briere Trophy as the league’s best player.