Top prospect Sean Couturier’s
breakthrough 2009-10 sophomore season is worth breaking down. The 6-foot-4, 197-pound center led the QMJHL with 96 points (41 goals, 55 assists) becoming the first 17-year-old to lead the league in scoring since Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic in 2004-05. Couturier also had a league-high plus-62 rating matching up against the opposition’s best players. His strong play continued into the postseason, ranking third on Drummondville with 18 points in 14 games.
With expectations heightened following his strong 2009-10 campaign, the Bathurst, New Brunswick native reached 96 points for the second straight year, tallying 36 goals and 60 assists in the 2010-11 regular season. He finished the season tied for fourth overall in points and assists, and co-led the Voltigeurs with 11 points in 10 games before falling to the Gatineau Olympiques in the second round of the playoffs.
Although he slipped to No. 6 in Central Scouting’s final rankings of the top North American skaters (was No. 2 at the midterm), it was not because of a dip in production or overall play. Instead, the five players ahead of him earned their positions with exceptional play during the second half of the season, whereas Couturier remained consistently steady, as stated in this article
written by NHL.com’s Mike Morreale.
In addition to putting up impressive numbers, Couturier is also reliable in his own zone. He considers himself a strong two-way center – a quality that draws comparison to the Staal brothers, according to NHL Network’s Craig Button. “He reminds me a lot of a cross between Eric Staal and Jordan Staal and that’s a valuable player on any team that’s interested in winning. Sean has that capability to be that really long term center, who’ll play against any other team’s top centers and produce offense,” said Button, in a recent article. Below are some highlights of his 2010-11 season:
- Named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Most Valuable Player, the Top 2011 Draft Prospect and was a First-Team All-Star.
- Finished the regular ranked tied for fourth overall in scoring with 36-60=96 points.
- Ranked second in the league with a plus-55 rating.
- Led his team in power play assists (24).
- Ranked tied for third overall in short handed goals (4) and tied for second overall in short handed assists (4).
- Won 54% of his faceoffs (778-of-1,430) and ranked sixth overall in faceoffs won.
- Had a league-high 12-game assist streak from Nov. 19, 2010 – Jan. 21, 2011, scoring 7-24=31 points in that span.Did you know?
- Couturier was born in Phoenix, Arizona because his father, Sylvain, was playing for the International Hockey League’s Phoenix Roadrunners at the time.
- Couturier was the youngest and only draft-eligible player on Team Canada in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, winning a silver medal. He also won gold with Canada’s Under-18 team at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.Up Next: Adam Larsson