Sean Couturier (born December 7, 1992) is an American-born Canadian ice hockey player currently with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected eighth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Couturier was born in Phoenix, Arizona, while his father Sylvain Couturier played for the International Hockey League (IHL)’s Phoenix Roadrunners. Following his father’s retirement, the family moved to Bathurst, New Brunswick, where his father became General Manager of The Acadie Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Couturier played his minor hockey in Bathurst and calls the city home.
Drummondville had the second overall pick in the 2008 QMJHL draft and picked Couturier after defenseman Brandon Gormley was selected by the Moncton Wildcats. Couturier joined Drummondville for the 2008–09 season and helped the team win their first President’s Cup as QMJHL champions. He was tenth on the team in points for that regular season.
In 2009–10 Couturier stepped forward to lead the QMJHL in points; he had the lowest point totals required to win the Jean Béliveau Trophy as leading scorer in QMJHL history. Nicolas Deschamps had the same number of points but had scored fewer goals. Teammate Gabriel Dumont was the leading QMJHL goalscorer while Couturier was fourth in the goalscoring race (also trailing Luke Adam and former Drummondville teammate Mike Hoffman). In the 2010 playoffs Drummondville advanced to the semi-finals before being eliminated by the eventual champions, the Moncton Wildcats. Couturier was third on his team in points for the playoffs, behind Dumont and Chris DiDomenico.
In 2010-11 Couturier had bad luck to begin, contracting mononucleosis over the off season, a condition that usually takes a year to fully recover from. Despite this setback, Couturier once again had an impressive year. Couturier matched the 96 points he scored the year before in 10 fewer games, leaving him 4th overall in QMJHL scoring, while having the highest points per game of any draft eligible CHL player. In the playoffs, Drummondville advanced to the second round, before being eliminated in seven games by the Gatineau Olympiques, who would continue to the President’s Cup final. Couturier finished the playoffs with 11 points in 10 games.
His impressive 2010-11 campaign resulted in him being named to the QMHJL First All-Star team, as well as winning the Michel Brière Memorial Trophy, as the league MVP, and the Mike Bossy Trophy, awarded to the best professional prospect in the QMJHL.
Couturier was drafted 8th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers acquired the pick via a trade that sent Jeff Carter to theColumbus Blue Jackets in return for Jakub Voracek and the Blue Jackets’ first-round selection. Couturier signed a three-year, entry-level contract on September 21, 2011. Couturier made an impression in training camp and started the 2011–12 NHL season with the Flyers, also receiving ice time on thepenalty kill. He earned his first point in the NHL in his 3rd game, on October 12 against the Vancouver Canucks in a primary assist for a goal by Jakub Voracek. Couturier scored his first NHL goal in his 5th game on October 18, 2011, against Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators in a 7-2 win. He was one of the youngest players to participate in the NHL All Star Game, named on the rookie team and participating in the skills competition. On April 13, 2012, Sean scored his first career hat-trick and had an assist to earn 4 points in an 8-5 win in Pittsburgh in game 2 of the first round of the 2012 Playoffs, thereby becoming the 2nd youngest player to score a hat-trick in a playoff game, all while being matched up against Art Ross Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin and playing a shutdown defensive role on Malkin successfully. After the game, teammate Jaromir Jagr compared Couturier to Hall of Famer Ron Francis. Couturier continued to play a pivotal role for the remainder of the series, and Evgeni Malkin only scored one even strength point while Couturier was on the ice, as the Flyers won the series 4-2.
During his third QMJHL season, Couturier was invited to take part in the Canadian National Junior Team‘s selection camp in December 2010. Couturier was named to the team for the 2011 World Junior Championships, held in Buffalo, New York, as Canada’s only NHL draft-eligible player.
Regular season and playoffs
|2007–08||Notre Dame Midget Hounds||SMHL||40||19||37||56||32||10||3||8||11||10|
Awards and honors
|President’s Cup (with the Drummondville Voltigeurs)||2008-09|
|Jean Béliveau Trophy||2009-10|
|QMJHL Second-Team All-Star||2009-10|
|Best Plus/Minus record in the QMJHL||2009-10 (+62)|
|Michel Brière Memorial Trophy||2010-11|
|Mike Bossy Trophy||2010-11|
|QMJHL First-Team All-Star||2010-11|