Friday, June 24, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Sean Couturier #3

By Eldon MacDonald

3. Sean Couturier - “Trench Guy” - Center - Canada

Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 197 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 7-Dec-92 - Phoenix, AZ
Team: Drummondville, QMJHL
2010-11 Stats: 58-36-60-96-36-(+55) + QMJHL 10-6-5-11-14-(+3) + U20 7-2-1-3-0-(+6)
2 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
3 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
3 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
4 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
4 - ISS's Top 30 - 30-May-11 per TSN
4 - The Hockey News per TSN
4 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
4- The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
5 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
5 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
5 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
5 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
6 - McKeen's June Top 30
7 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (6th North American skater)
7 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
Draft result:
8 - Philadelphia Flyers

Yes, he is a big faller on the charts. Not in my books, I would have him number one if Edmonton hadn’t their heart set on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Colorado wasn’t wanting to take Huburdeau or Landeskog.. Yes, they say his vision is his best asset. Not in my books, I love his trench warfare, OK so I watch the reenactments of World War 1 on the History Channel. They say he has only limited offensive upside. Hmm, not in my books. This guy knows where the goals are and they are down low. They say that he didn’t improve as much as his peers this year. They are right but did they ever ask why? And the why is the premise of my hypothesis as to why Sean Couturier is a faller and why he didn’t improve as much as his peers this year. You see Sean Couturier had mono to start the season. Mono is a disease that can have a lingering effect on the suffererer of up to one or two years. To read a more detailed analysis, read my colleague’s (Christopher Ralph) write-up on Sean Couturier at The Hockey Therefore, I hypothesize that Sean is still suffering lingering effects from mono and therefore wasn’t able to add to his strength and hasn’t able to improve on his previous high results (QMJHL scoring champion in 2009-10) so the outward appearance was that Sean wasn’t getting any better. Am I right, stay tuned to the next hockey season to find out. However, if I am, anyone that doesn’t pick him when they had the opportunity to (and that includes number one) is going to look like a loser down the road.

So what do you get if I am right and for the most part even if I am not (Sean is still that good)? Well, I am going to borrow from my colleague’s (Christopher Ralph) list at the The Hockey (Psst, he owns this blogsite so I think it will be all right) and say:
  • On-ice vision
  • Hockey sense/IQ
  • Skating (the one area Couturier will need to work on but fundamentals are there)
  • Puck skills
  • Shot
  • Playmaking
  • Defensive acumen
  • Physicality (while not a dominant physical player, Couturier uses his size to his advantage in puck protection and positioning.)
  • Competitiveness
  • Intangibles
And I am going to add his propensity for working down low. A big man with a good stick down low or in front of the net, are you thinking Phil Esposito. If you are, shush up, because some other team may grab him.

As for weaknesses, yes his skating could improve but it is good enough as is for Sean Couturier to step onto your team next fall and improve your team. Oh, one last thing, Sean Couturier grew up in hockey so understands the team thing and he is a consummate team player. His Dad (Sylvain) is the GM of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and played a few games for the Los Angeles Kings a number of years ago in the 80’s.

The above ratings have him from two to seven. I have him at three because Florida desperately requires a big center who can produce some offense but we shall see tonight (June 24th).


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