SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson and Director of Scouting Tim Burke announced today that the Sharks have selected center Logan Couture
from the Ottawa 67’s (OHL) with their first selection (1st round, 9th overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.
to watch the Sharks select Logan Couture
ninth overall in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
The selection completes an earlier draft day trade with Toronto which saw San Jose trade G Vesa Toskala and LW Mark Bell to the Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional 2007, 2008 or 2009 first round selection, a second round 2007 selection and a fourth round selection in 2009.
“As a staff, the scouts and Burkie do an unbelievable job of identifying what it is that we really want,” said Wilson. “Then it’s a matter of getting into position to have the picks to be able to get the players you want. We’re certainly not afraid to move up or down. It really comes down to the scouts identifying the right type of people.”
The Sharks acquired the 9th overall selection from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the 13th overall selection in 2007 (acquired previously from Toronto), a second round selection in 2007 (44th overall, previously acquired from Toronto) and a third round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
"I'm excited to get my career started with San Jose," said Couture. "Two of my teammates (with the Ottawa 67's), Derek Joslin and Jamie McGinn, were also drafted by the Sharks. Actually, the first phone call I got after I was drafted was from Derek. He was excited."
Couture, a native of Guelph, Ontario, was ranked 7th overall by The Hockey News among all North American skaters available and 19th overall by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service among North American skaters. In 54 games with Ottawa, Couture posted 76 points (26 goals, 50 assists), second on the team behind fellow Sharks prospect Jamie McGinn (2006, 2nd round, 36th overall). In five postseason games, he led the team with eight points (one goal, seven assists).
"When they traded up, I got excited and thought they might pick me," recalled Couture. "Derek and Jamie have nothing but good things to say about the Sharks."
In addition to having teammates from his junior team already in the Sharks farm system, Couture has another strong tie to the organization. Couture's agent, John Thornton, is the brother of current Sharks alternate captain Joe Thornton
. Connections to the club aside, Burke and the entire scouting staff are excited they landed one of their most coveted players.
“He was one of the forwards we identified,” said Burke. “Obviously we didn’t have a pick (this morning) so we had to weigh where we would have the best chance to get him. We eliminated all the risks we could by where we got (with the Toronto trade) and we had an option to get out of there if he wasn’t there.
“If you look at his season, because he had mono and he was injured early in the year, there was a little bit of an incomplete to the first half of the year, and then he really came on. But based on what he had done the year before, in the early ratings was rated pretty high. He slipped down from not playing. Rob Grillo and Gilles Cote stuck by him. There was a degree of risk, but we were willing to take it because he was the one forward we were really reaching for.
The Hockey News says:
“Logan Couture would have been the first overall selection in the OHL Draft in 2005 had John Tavares not been ruled as an exceptional player. Couture is a player with superior vision and playmaking skills.”
NHL’s Central Scouting described Couture as:
“A skilled forward with good playmaking skills…has good offensive instincts and sees the ice well… plays with energy and protects…the puck well using his long reach and good-sized frame… needs to be tougher in traffic as well as in the defensive end… needs to improve his balance.”
McKeen’s Hockey, who ranked Couture 10th overall among draft eligible players, selected him as the “Smartest Player”, “Hardest Worker” and “Best Defensive Forward” in the Ontario Hockey League.
Couture was selected to play for the Eastern Conference at the 2007 OHL All-Star Classic and won the shooting accuracy competition for Team West hitting four targets on five shots and had three points in the game (one goal, two assists). He was one of 40 draft-eligible prospects selected to participate in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game and competed in the Canada-Russia Challenge in 2006 for the OHL All- Stars.
"I think he’s a complete player," said Burke. "He’s a playmaker. He’s a player for all situations and he makes players around him better."
Couture finished second in voting for OHL Rookie-of-the-Year in 2005-06 with 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 65 games played and attended Team Canada Selection camp for the 2006 Junior World Cup, but was left off the team due to an injury sustained at camp.
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Ottawa 67's - OHL
6'5" 195 lbs.
Center, shoots left
March 28, 1989
March 28, 1989 in Guelph, Ontario
19 Mid-Term Ranking:
North American Skater
Central Scouting Report:
A skilled forward with good playmaking skills… has good offensive instincts and sees the ice well… plays with energy and protects the puck well using his long reach and good-sized frame… needs to be tougher in traffic as well as in the defensive end… needs to improve his balance.
Selected to play for the Eastern Conference at the 2007 OHL All-Star Classic – won the shooting accuracy competition for Team West hitting four targets on five shots and had three points in the game (1-2-3)… was one of 40 draft-eligible prospects selected to participate in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game… competed in the Canada-Russia Challenge in 2006 for the OHL All-Stars… was second in voting for OHL Rookie-of-the-Year in 2005-06 with 64 points (25-39-67) in 65 games played… attended Team Canada Selection camp for the 2006 Junior World Cup, but was left off the team due to an injury sustained at camp… played for Team Ontario at the 2006 Under-17 World Championships… Rookie-of-the-Year in the Western Junior B league with the St. Thomas Stars in 2004-05 – had 24 goals and 46 points in the regular season along with 13 points in 16 playoff games.
Wears #89 for the year that he was born… most memorable hockey game watched: Game #6 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Final between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres – Daniel Briere scored in overtime to force a game seven… most memorable hockey game played: “a SilverStick Final when I was 11 – we won 3-1 and I score all three goals”… he admires his parents the most and says that they have had the most influence on his career because they have “always been there for me and taught me a lot”… favorites include: “snapshot low blocker or top glove” (shootout move), Buffalo Sabres (NHL team), Sabres’ co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury (NHL players), Lost (TV show), Munich (movie), Denzel Washington (actor), Akon (group) and NFL Madden 2006 (video game)… if he could have dinner with any three people he would choose: NFL running back Willis McGahee, San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds and actress Evangeline Lilly.
Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM
2006-07 Ottawa OHL 54 26 52 78 24