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10-25-2011, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyClarkeFan16 View Post
But how is being rushed if he's being spoonfed minutes? I mean, when Joe Thornton was a rookie, Pat Burns limited his ice time as well and Thornton went on to be a hell of a player as a result. Sometimes, players just outgrow their environments and need to adapt to a new challenge.

What has to be admired is that Couturier has taken on a role that not many players enjoy. There's no recognition to the type of role that Couturier has taken on. What's remarkable is that he's become a defensive conscience at 18 years old. I don't know of any other player at that age who has stepped in and performed such a difficult role on a contending team. That's what makes this real special - you never hear of 18 year olds excelling at the defensive game like this.

There's no doubt that Couturier won't win rookie of the year. The role he's playing right now, he just won't put up the numbers that a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will put up. But I will say this - in three years from now, he'll probably be the most complete player in the game and dare I say it, a Joe Thornton type player with shut down defensive skills and an impressive offensive game to match. He will be the number one guy in Philadelphia in a few more years and that's saying something (especially because I'm a huge Giroux fan, but Couturier might just be a generational talent).
Couturier is already a good NHL player. His vision and passing are superb, he's got scoring instincts, isn't afraid to get dirty, and he can skate and hit despite the need to grow into his body.

I am particularly impressed by the long passes off the boards, either out of the zone or back to the points that he makes. Great touch and he always gets the puck out of the zone.

If he can play the year on the 4th line, learn the pro game from Max Talbot, and be one of our key penalty killers, it will do wonders for his development.

Based on the preseason, I was prepared to send him back on principle, and it could still happen, but he's clearly ready for the NHL.

That said, if you've been watching Brayden Schenn for the last few games, it's apparent that Schenn is smoother and is a creative, skilled passer too. He gets into position, his linemates haven't hit him yet, and he's had some great scoring chances. He's ready to play in the top 9 now - and I'm OK if it's at LW. We converted a Jr. star C once who was a pretty smooth skater and smart two-way player. What was his name? Oh yeah, Gagne. Schenn isn't as fast, but he hits a lot more.

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