Sean Couturier is just 21 years old and he’s already firmly established himself with Philadelphia as a defensive center, but Flyers GM Ron Hextall believes they’re just scratching the surface of what he’s capable of accomplishing.
After Couturier scored just 13 goals and 39 points in 82 games last season, he’ll be counted on to play a bigger role offensively.
“Our biggest upside is up front with Brayden [Schenn] and Sean,” Hextall told CSN Philly. “Sean, you love what he does, the unselfishness, the team first, loving the challenge of playing against the other team’s top line. That’s awesome stuff.
“Typically, a young player learns the defensive part after the offensive part. Coots in juniors was equally good on offense as defense, but up here, obviously, his defensive game is ahead of his offensive game. There’s another level.”
Hextall spoke to Couturier about that over the summer and has made it clear that his expectations for Couturier have increased now that the forward has 205 NHL games under his belt.
Couturier is entering the first season of his two-year, $3.5 million bridge deal. How he develops offensively will play a big role in determining what his next contract will look like.