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Couturier at WJC Development Camp

by Mike Morreale / Philadelphia Flyers
Sean Couturier has certainly come a long way since earning a roster spot on last year's silver medal-winning Canadian National Junior Team at the World Junior Championship.

He's one of the veterans at development camp this week and has done nothing to disappoint the coaching staff. Regarded as one of the top two-way forwards among all the prospects vying for spots on the final roster, the 6-foot-3, 192-pound Couturier appears a lot more at ease this time around.

"Since I had the experience of it last year, I'm just trying to lead the way and show by example," Couturier said. "I know what to expect, so I'm just trying to show what we have to do out there. I'm a little less nervous than last year but, at the same time, everyone here is out to prove themselves and try to make a name on the team."

Couturier, who was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's top professional prospect last season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, said the loss to Russia in the gold medal game last January still stings.

"For sure," he said. "I'll always remember it. But I don't think too much about it anymore since this is a new year. I'm just looking forward to next year."

Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast likes what he sees in Couturier.

"He came down with (mononucleosis) last summer so it took him out of things for a while, but he's a solid player," Prendergast said. "He had a good year (in Drummondville). He plays all positions and plays two ways and will be a good NHL player."

It's very likely Couturier will earn a spot on the Canadian National team come December unless he's told to join the Philadelphia Flyers out of training camp in October. Couturier was drafted by the Flyers eighth overall last June and attended the team's summer camp in July.

"Being my first professional camp, it was good getting the feel of the game and the strength of the guys," he said. "But, now that I'm here with Team Canada, I'm focused on this."

Couturier labeled Canada coach Don Hay a pretty "intense guy." He feels all the players attending camp will certainly benefit from his lead.

"I think the systems are similar (to last year)," Couturier said. "I think Team Canada, over the years, has liked to put pressure on the opposite teams. I'm seeing a lot of that at this camp too."
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