After providing his top five picks
for the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft during Sunday's 'On The Fly' show for the NHL Network, NHL.com caught up with analyst Craig Button for his input on the player he has ranked sixth on his depth chart.
That would be Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs
in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. At the start of the season, Couturier was projected to be the No. 1 prospect among North American skaters. After producing 41 goals and league-leading 96 points in 68 games with Drummondville last season, the Bathurst, New Brunswick, native, has 36 goals, 92 points in 54 contests this campaign.
Button explained his reasoning behind having Couturier at No. 6 on his cheat sheet at this stage in the season.
"For me, the biggest thing, I try to project a players' future impact on the game," Button told NHL.com. "I think Sean is going to be a strong NHL player. I see him as a 60-70 point player at some point in the NHL and there's nothing wrong with that. I see him more along the lines of Jordan Staal
, a player he's been compared to. Jordan is a good player, but not a star player. With Sean, I see a really good, smart player, but I don't see him as that front-line center right now. He'd be an excellent No. 2 center. That's why I put him behind (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins and (Jonathan) Huberdeau for now."
There's always a chance Couturier could move up on Button's list. We'll see ...