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08-05-2011, 03:19 PM
Haute Couturier
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Originally Posted by sobrien View Post
To be fair, it is a good question to wonder what another year of dominating juniors would do for him. But we've all seen players rushed into NHL roles they weren't ready for yet, and it ruined their careers. It's really an bad situation to be in, not being able to send him to the AHL.

I'd let him play the 1st 9 in the NHL, give him time with NHL training/coaching staffs and NHL weight rooms...and if he looks terribly out of place, send him back to juniors with a list of things to improve on. If he's close to the competition, let him play the 3rd line wing and give him some PK time in blowouts to allow him to develop his strengths in the pros.
Yeah, I think it is a huge disservice that kids like Couturier can't play in the AHL when it would benefit their development. I typically would rather send most prospects back to junior to err on the side of caution, but one thing to keep in mind in this case is that SC already had an extra year in junior because he is a late birthday. Holmgren expressed concern over sending him back for a 4th year in an article I read a while back. It's a tough decision. I think one thing in his advantage is that his defensive play is advanced enough that he could hold his own in the NHL. His size also won't be an issue.

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