24-Year-Old Center – Philadelphia Flyers
Sean Couturier Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $26 million contract extension with the Flyers in July 2015.
Couturier led all forwards in ice time (22:50) while netting a goal and a power-play assist in Thursday's 5-4 shootout victory against Vancouver.
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Sean Couturier: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Fresh off signing a six-year contract extension, Couturier is heading into a critical 2015-16 season. The 22-year-old put up 15 goals and 37 points in 82 games last season, finishing third on the Flyers with 31 even-strength points and ending the regular season on a six-game point streak. While he's yet to surpass 15 goals in a single season, the Flyers see him as their eventual second-line center, though it's unclear if he'll move up from his current spot on the third line right away in 2015-16. At this point in his career, Couturier has already shown the ability to match up defensively against top competition as a key member of the team's penalty kill; now, he'll need to demonstrate that he can become the viable secondary scorer the top-heavy Flyers need to complement Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds. The youngster remains more valuable to the Flyers than to fantasy owners, but after back-to-back campaigns just shy of the 40-point mark, this could be the year he builds off the confidence the team has in him and becomes more of an offensive threat.
Couturier was hailed as a gifted two-way player in the mold of Patrice Bergeron when he came into the NHL three years ago. In fact, his 223 points and cumulative plus-141 rating in 184 games in junior were indicative of a future Selke winner. While his offensive game hasn't yet fully matured in the NHL, he is still very good in his own end of the ice and a great shutdown center. His biggest problem will be finding ice time behind Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. A long-term injury to either of those players would elevate Couturier up the depth chart and certainly help his numbers, but that sort of promotion obviously isnít guaranteed. For the time being, itís probably best to forget about the hype he entered the league with and temper expectations about his potential fantasy production.
Couturier signed a two-year extension in late July, and looks to recover from a down season. Known for his defensive prowess, the 20-year-old center is still young and developing, so he could be a target in keeper leagues. And if he can get back to his 2011-12 form when he posted a rating of plus-18, he has the potential to add value in deeper leagues.
Couturier had an impressive NHL rookie season with 27 points and a plus-18. While he may not have put up all-star fantasy numbers, with the absence Jaromir Jagr and a few other free agents, Couturier will be expected to play a bigger role this year and may be in for a breakout season. He has uncanny poise for a young NHL player and his two-way skill have allowed him to successfully close down some of the Eastern Conference's top scorers; he's regularly matched up against players like Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk. Remember his name in keeper leagues.