Couture

 

Couture is a player that does a lot of things well and there isn’t a lot missing to his game. Clearly, the Sharks thought very highly of him after selecting him with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft. I think it’s safe to say several teams are wishing they had picked Couture earlier in the draft, as he continues to develop.

 

Couture came off a very productive year in 2006-2007. with the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL, picking up 26 goals and 52 assists for 78 points Couture spent two more seasons with Ottawa and after putting up 87 points in 2008-2009, the Sharks decided he was ready for the American Hockey League. After playing just four games with Worcester at the end of that season, Couture went on to play 42 games with them in 2009-2010.

 

As you can see below, Couture’s numbers have improved with each season of experience in the NHL.

 

2009-2010 (25 GP)

5 G

4 A

9 PTS

2010-2011 (79 GP)

32 G

24 A

56 PTS

2011-2012 (80 GP)

31 G

34 A

65 PTS

 

Couture played most of the 2011-2012 season with Ryane Clowe and Martin Havlat, but he also had a chance to play with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. For a second line player, Couture was very productive, putting up 65 points. He finished second most on the team behind Thornton and ahead of players like Marleau and Joe Pavelski.

 

Couture was also one of the top power play producers in the NHL, racking up 26 power play points. As you can see below, only a select bunch of NHL stars had more PPP than Couture.

 

Claude Giroux (Philadelphia)

38 PPP

Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)

34 PPP

Brian Campbell (Florida)

31 PPP

James Neal (PIT)

30 PPP

Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey)

29 PPP

Patrik Elias (NJ)

29 PPP

Erik Karlsson (Ottawa)

28 PPP

Teemu Selanne (Anaheim)

28 PPP

Henrik Sedin (Vancouver)

27 PPP

Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles)

26 PPP

Jason Pominville (Buffalo)

26 PPP

Logan Couture (San Jose)

26 PPP

 

Looking at those stats, if Couture was given number one power play time consistently, his numbers would be even better. All of the players above are considered top line players and they’re always on the number one power play unit. Any time you can top a sniper like Steven Stamkos in PPP (25), that’s awfully impressive.

 

Couture is not afraid to shoot the puck and that’s a great sign for a young player, as he finished with 245 shots in the 2011-2012 season. He was within reach of players like Erik Karlsson (261), Patrick Kane (253), Dan Boyle (252), Jarome Iginla (251), Patrick Marleau (251) and Marian Hossa (248). He took as many shots as Claude Giroux.

 

Here’s a breakdown of the situations Couture was put in with the Sharks.

 

       Frequency                                               Strength                               Combination

17.22%

Even

With Clowe and Havlat

13.65%

EV

With Thornton and Pavelski

9.01%

EV

With Marleau and Clowe

8.12%

EV

With Tommy Wingels and Clowe

7.21%

EV

With Benn Ferriero and Marleau

5.7%

Power Play

With Marleau, Pavelski and Thornton

 

Couture also played 4.46% of his time with Ferriero and Marleau, 2.56% of his time with Clowe and Havlat (PP) and 1.75% with Clowe and Michael Handzus (PP). He also played on various penalty killing units for the Sharks.

 

How good can Couture be? I think he’s very capable of scoring 35 goals regularly and his upside is like a Jonathan Toews-lite (top line centre).

 

Mac can be found on the forums as dmvincent, and you can also follow him on twitter @MacVincent1.


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