Sean Couturier has been an outstanding player in his three year career with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and as we approach the 2011 NHL Draft, there's no reason this prospect can't be a top-five pick.
He won the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the league's leading scorer in the 2009-10 season with 41 goals and 96 points, and was the first 17 year old to win the award since Sidney Crosby did it in 2004. In 2010-11, he stepped up and won the league MVP award as the Voltigeurs eventually lost to the Moncton Wildcats in the league championship.
Couturier also has a major distinction over all of his other Canadian draft eligible players. He was the only draft eligible player selected to play in the 2011 World Junior Championships for Team Canada. In seven games, Couturier had two goals and an assist in seven games.
Couturier has a bit of a hockey pedigree. His father Sylvain Couturier was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1986 and played a total of 33 games in three seasons for the Kings. He bounced around the minors for most of his career playing for the Phoenix Roadrunners and Milwaukee Admirals before going to Europe to play for three more seasons.
The elder Couturier settled down in Bathurst, Que. where he is now the General Manager of the Acadie-Bathurst Titans of the QMJHL.
2010-11 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Born: December 7, 1992
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
CSS Midterm Ranking: 2
CSS Final Ranking: 7
2010-11 Regular Season
What People Are Saying
"At his size, he'll be hard to pass up in the draft. He possesses a very good work ethic and he's out there for every important faceoff. He's very responsible in the defensive aspect of the game -- a rare quality for such a young player in junior hockey."
International Scouting Services...
He is an extremely smart and skilled playmaking center. He sees the ice well, knows where team mates are at all times; his passing is exceptional plus he is extremely dangerous in close.
"You don't take the puck off of him. He's a big center who wins the faceoffs and is extremely reliable defensively. When he was 16, I had to push him to go offense because he wanted to be so reliable defensively. He has great vision and is slowly building up his speed ... he's going to be a terrific NHL player."
With back to back 96 point seasons in the Q, it's clear he's got a great deal of offensive talent, but his defensive skills are nothing to sneeze at, with a +55 this year, claiming the best +/- record in the QMJHL in 2009-2010 with a +62, and a .544 faceoff percentage.
Even though Couturier is ranked sixth in the final rankings, it wouldn't be a surprise nor a reach if a top five team decided to take in him the draft.
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