They’ve battled for draft position all season long. So what are a few more bouts for Sean Couturier and Jonathan Huberdeau.
After two impressive seasons, the Drummondville Voltigeurs leader and Saint John Sea Dogs leading scorer will go battle it out for some serious QMJHL hardware. The duo, ranked 2nd and 6th overall respectively in Future Considerations’ 2011 NHL Entry Draft rankings for March, will square off against each other for three major league awards.
Couturier will battle Huberdeau and Philip-Michaël Devos, who skated with the Gatineau Olympiques and Victoriaville Tigres this season, for the Michal Briere Trophy, awarded to the league’s most valuable player. Devos finished the season with a league-best 114 points in 68 games. Huberdeau’s 43 goals and 105 points trump Couturier’s marks of 36 tallies and 96 points, though Couturier suited up for nine less games, forced to take time away from his QMJHL team to represent Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.
The pair is also up for the Paul Dumont Trophy, awarded to the league’s personality of the year. Montreal Junior forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Louis Leblanc is also up for the trophy.
But perhaps the most interesting battle will be for the Michael Bossy Trophy, awarded to the league’s top professional prospect. In layman’s terms, it is given to the player judged the league’s best draft eligible player.
While Couturier has been ranked higher than Huberdeau on a consistent basis, the Sea Dogs forward has gained attention and momentum as the season has progressed. It isn’t hard to find QMJHL scouts that will suggest Huberdeau has actually surpassed Couturier on their charts, while it is equally easy to find those that will push Couturier as a potential first overall pick.
Complicating the matter is Nathan Beaulieu, Huberdeau’s teammate in Saint John. The rearguard is regarded as a top defenseman for the upcoming draft and the best the QMJHL has to offer and is ranked 9th overall.
But as tough competition as Beaulieu is for the Bossy, Leblanc for the Dumont or Devos for the Briere, the most entertaining outcome at the QMJHL awards banquet in April will come between Huberdeau and Couturier.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!