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Couture has good time with being last pick

Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 11:20 PM / 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Couture has good time with being last pick
Logan Couture says he can't remember being picked last at anything -- at least not until he was the final player chosen in the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft.
GATINEAU, Que. -- Logan Couture, as far as he can remember, had never been picked last for anything before Thursday night.

"I'm not sure. I don't even know if it's happened before," Couture said after he was the final pick in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft. "I've never been picked last for something, whether it's for class or a game outdoors or anything like that. Growing up, I was always one of the more athletic kids. To get picked last -- it didn't really happen at all.

"This is the first time. When I was younger, I would've taken it more personally. Right now, I just had a good time with it."

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The final selection came down between the Sharks' forward and the Stars' Jamie Benn, both of whom are participating in their first All-Star Game. Team Chara had the penultimate pick of the draft, and captain Zdeno Chara cited Benn's recovering from an appendectomy as a reason to select him before Couture.

Benn hasn't played since Jan. 14 because of the procedure, but it seemed to work in his favor.

"It could kind of go both ways," Benn said of his injury potentially hurting or helping his chances. "It was fun and a good experience. It was a little bit of a win-win. Either you get picked last or you get a car."

Couture's consolation prize was a new 2012 Honda Crosstour 4WD EX-L. The NHL Foundation and the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund each will donate $10,000 in Couture's name to the grassroots hockey program of his choice.

It's the same treatment Toronto's Phil Kessel received as the final pick at last year's draft.

"I haven't talked to him," Kessel said when asked if he had any advice for Couture. "Obviously, it's not a big deal. It's a great experience here."

The 22-year-old Couture is taking part in his second All-Star weekend -- he was part of the rookie team last year. This was his first draft, so he had a feeling he'd be a strong candidate to end up going last despite his 21 goals and 15 assists in 47 games.

"I can't take that personally," Couture said. "I'm a young guy who plays on the West Coast. When I came in, I knew it was a possibility."

Teammates being what they are, Sharks captain Joe Thornton was quick to send Couture a message after he was taken by Team Alfredsson with the final pick.

"Oh yeah. Jumbo was all over me," said Couture, who also heard plenty of chirps from his 81,000-plus followers on Twitter. "He was the first guy to text me. Then the trainers texted me. They were all pretty happy for me."

Couture is a Guelph, Ont., native who played his junior hockey for the Ottawa 67's from 2005-09. He'll be attending his old team's game against the Sarnia Sting on Friday night and visiting with the family that housed him when he was a junior player.

Being picked last did nothing to damper his enthusiasm for All-Star Weekend.

"It's awesome. I definitely looked forward to it when I was named to the team," Couture said. Right away I planned to go to a 67's game. I love this city. The fans were great to me. It's exciting to come back here."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo