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02-21-2013, 02:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bay Area
Originally Posted by
Roo Mad Bro
Good analysis, but the bolded bothers me.
Brandon Sutter's best PPG in the WHL was 0.81, and that was in his post-draft year.
Couturier put up 1.66 in his draft year (played in the QMJHL).
Here's a pretty good quote from Bill Meltzer (Flyers writer) about Ryan O'Reilly (and I think it fits this topic well):
"My rule of thumb when it comes to pre-NHL production is that offensive dominance at lower levels is far from a guarantee of high-level NHL offensive production, but the LACK of true offensive dominance at the lower levels is usually a pretty good indication that the player will not become a year-in-and-year-old offensive force in the NHL."
Some people compare Couturier's upside to players who had vastly inferior pedigree's compared to his. That's my gripe.
Of course Couturier has more offensive upside than Brandon Sutter, and I certainly agree with the quote and your general point. I'm not saying that Couturier's upside is Brandon Sutter.
All I'm saying is that
people are blinded by his being in the NHL at such a young age. For example, Ryan Strome. Everyone's all over the Islanders for picking him over Couturier. But by your measure, which I agree with, he's got higher offensive potential than Couturier, despite Couturier's having proven to be a capable NHL player. Personally, I'd still take Couturier over Strome, simply because Couturier is proven to be a capable NHLer. But, last season everyone was saying the Panthers made a huge mistake picking Huberdeau (who's every Canadian's favorite whipping boy in international competition) over Couturier, but now Huberdeau's showing a ton of offense at the NHL level, scoring at an elite level at even strength, and being their 2nd leading scorer despite playing the 8th most even strength ice time of Panthers forwards and playing almost exclusively with Peter Mueller and Drew Shore. Yes, he's starting more often than not in the offensive zone, but he's showing the possession numbers and them some expected of those zone starts, and he's been primarily matched up against opponent's top defensemen in more recent matchups.
So Huberdeau is showing more offensive potential than Couturier, but you'd still take Couturier over Huberdeau, right?
There isn't a right answer to that question at this point, everyone's going to pick differently (although I'm sure most people would pick Couturier still). But the point of that tiring paragraph was that you have to balance 'proven' and 'upside' when you're evaluating talent and value. Huberdeau has more upside but is less proven than Couturier. By what factor? Which is more important?
So it just tickles my pickle when people go on and on about proven NHL play with less upside, and then get mad when others don't agree with sky-high offensive production. Watching Huberdeau, I get really excited. Couturier, not so much. Yes, I'm aware of the differences in play styles and the differences in circumstances, but it's all personal preferences.
It's just a little concerning when Couturier can't put up more than 2 goals and a secondary assist in 15 games against the Brian Lee-Keith Aulie/Christian Ehrhoff-Alexander Sulzer/Adam Larsson-Mark Fayne/Mark Streit-Joe Finley pairings of the world. I guess that's my point here.
Again, I don't have a bone to pick with Couturier. He's an elite young talent with sky-high value. I just don't see huge offensive upside.
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