-- Sean Couturier
was a longshot to make the Philadelphia Flyers
' roster out of training camp, but just over two months into his NHL career, he finds himself filling a major role on one of the League's top teams.
With the NHL's leading scorer, Claude Giroux
, sidelined indefinitely with a concussion, the 19-year-old Couturier -- the eighth pick of the 2011 Entry Draft -- is being asked to fill the void between Scott Hartnell
and Jaromir Jagr
on the Flyers' top line.
Thursday's game against the Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET, NHL-US, TSN) will be his second in that role, and while some may be surprised to see a junior-age player in such a prominent position so soon on a top team, coach Peter Laviolette
feels the rookie is ready for the added responsibility.
"Early on in training camp we had him killing 5-on-3's, we had him on the power play, we had him playing against other teams' top players," Laviolette said of Couturier. "After camp was over, I made a decision to not change that. He did everything as well as he could and we decided to start the season with the same responsibilities for him. He hasn't disappointed us."