The Philadelphia Flyers announced they have signed young center Sean Couturier to a two-year extension. The 20-year-old, who would have been a restricted free agent after this season, is now signed through the 2015-16 season. Couturier’s cap hit over his two extended years will be a cap-friendly $1.75 million per season.
Although Couturier endured a sophomore slump last season, the potential he displayed during his rookie season still has the Flyers and fans ecstatic about his future.
Couturier has been coveted by virtually every team the Flyers have contacted in trade negotiations. Fortunately for the Flyers, General Manager Paul Holmgren has been patient and not pulled the trigger. This extension is a big relief for Flyers fans that want to see the team commit to their youth movement and not look for quick fixes.
Couturier grabbed the NHL‘s attention after his performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 playoffs. He contributed offensively with a hat-trick in an 8-5 victory in Game 2. However, Couturier thrived in the defensive zone, shutting down Penguins’ star Evgeni Malkin in even-strength situations.
With the pressure of his future in trade speculation coming off, Couturier should be able to relax and play to his ability on a consistent basis. Based off the Flyers’ projected roster, Couturier will be a perfect fit as a third-line, shutdown center behind top centers Claude Giroux and Vincent Lecavalier. If Couturier can shutdown one of the top two centers and contribute a 15-goal season, the Flyers will be extremely successful and be in a great position to get back in the playoffs.