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NHL Rumors: Sophomore Slump For Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Couturier?

Sean Couturier has a lot on his plate this season for the Philadelphia Flyers. Couturier is entering his second full season with the Flyers. This season is a bit different than anything Couturier has ever faced in his hockey career.

Couturier will have bigger expectations due to the fact that he has been involved in trade talks this off season with teams such as the Anaheim Ducks as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers made sure they kept a firm grip on their young nineteen year old. Couturier did prove to be the high caliber player that the Flyers thought they drafted with the 8th overall pick in last year’s entry draft.

The Phoenix, Arizona native notched 27 points in 77 games a year ago. Couturier also recorded his first career hat trick in the first round of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not only did Couturier show that he could play offensively in the NHL as an 18-year old, but he also showed that he can be a defensive nightmare to some of the NHL’s best players. In the first round of the playoffs, Couturier was Evgeni Malkin‘s worst nightmare. Though Malkin tallied 8 points in 6 games, he was only about to score 3 times. The presence of Couturier on Malkin gave the Flyers an advantage where they would least would have thought.

Yes, last year was a great start to what could be a brilliant career for Couturier. But doesn’t success early in a career only create more hype and pressure? With being a first round draft pick, there is enormous pressure to succeed. Do I believe that Couturier will? Absolutely, but the pressure that he has been handed by the fans of the Flyers could be detrimental to the young man.

Couturier has a lot to prove in his second NHL season. If the Flyers want to get back to the postseason and possibly go deeper into the playoffs, then they are going to need help from their depth players like Couturier. Couturier could be something special for the Flyers, but it is up to him to get to the level that the Flyers have valued him at and to where the Flyers’ faithful have valued him. Look for Couturier to struggle early but finish the season strong.

David A. Cattai is the Featured Writer for the Philadelphia Flyers with Rant Sports & Featured Beat Writer covering the Philadelphia Phillies’ for Buzz On Broad.

Follow me on Twitter @DCattaiSports for all Flyers, Phillies, NHL, and MLB sports updates.