Even with Brayden Schenn coming back to them in the Mike Richards deal, it seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers got rid of a good problem in their abundance of centers with their big moves this summer. It seemed that way, at least, until former odds-on top pick Sean Couturier slid to them at eighth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
The Flyers and Couturier could be an ideal fit, especially since the center expressed a wise willingness to move to the wing if it means getting some immediate NHL playing time. Couturier certainly sports an NHL-ready body (he’s listed at six-foot-four and 200 pounds) and as of today, he now has an NHL contract. The team announced that their first round pick signed an entry-level deal on Wednesday, although the exact financial terms haven’t been revealed just yet.
It’s still up to Couturier and the Flyers’ brass to determine if he’s ready to make the jump. Assessing prospects such as Couturier and Schenn should make an already-interesting preseason that much more intriguing for Philly. If nothing else, Couturier gave himself every opportunity to leapfrog the usual development process by signing an entry-level contract nice and early.