TORONTO CANADA - JANUARY 19: Sean Couturier #7 of Team Cherry fires a backhand shot on Liam Liston #33 of Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Prospects game on January 19 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
For the first time since 2007, the Flyers had a top-10 draft pick. They used it to select center Sean Couturier from Drummondville. It cost them Jeff Carter, but they were able to grab a guy who TSN compares to Jordan Staal. Seems like a Jeff Carter replacement.
Bob McKenzie called him a shutdown forward after being drafted, and McKenzie ranked him the 5th best player in the draft. The former QMJL #2 overall pick, 2009-10 QMJHL leading scorer, and 2010-11 league MVP is now the newest Flyer.
For the scouting report on Couturier, head over to The Cannon. In the SBNation Mock Draft, In Lou We Trust selected him #5. For their justification, click here. Or, for the full breakdown, check out his NHL.com prospect page.
Courturier has already gotten a few impressive honors under his belt. He won a silver medal with Team Canada in the World Juniors and was the first 17-year old to lead the QMJHL in scoring since Sidney Crosby did it in 2005. He has back-to-back 96-point seasons, but he's mostly seen as a shutdown center.
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus (a BSH favorite) listed him as the second best skater, comparing him to Brad Richards. Part of what Pronman said:
His greatest asset though has to be his head and how he thinks the game. He consistently executes on passes and the speed at which he makes good decisions with the puck will translate seamlessly to the NHL game. He does so many little things right and at a quality level, be it on the forecheck, positioning, play in front of the net, on defense that's it's hard to imagine him needed a significant amount of coaching at the technical level when he goes pro.
What does that mean? He's a two-way center who can score. He was ranked as the second best North American skater at the mid-point of the year, but fell to sixth in the final rankings. The Flyers got him at number 8. At first look, the Flyers just got a steal.