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Hextall is looking for more offensively from Couturier

Sep 2, 2014, 10:48 PM EDT

Sean Couturier Getty Images

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.

  1. mackattack29 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    He does have phenomenal hands and size. Protects the puck exceptionally well in his own zone, hence his great defensive abilities. Overall he’s similar to Jordan Staal to me and I see both of them as capable of A LOT more point than they put up.

    • mebailey700 - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I completely agree with what you have said. He has already proven himself to be a force as a defensive center and I think he can make a huge leap offensively this year.

  2. mackattack29 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:13 PM


  3. flyerspsu - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    hes only 21 and has played incredibly tough defensive minutes his whole career, if u give him more of an offensive role I can see him being a 55 point player

  4. hauger88 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Get to see him a decent amount being a rangers fan living in jersey. 12 times a year at least. He is a phenomenal player. I think he has the ability to surprise some with what his upside will be

  5. jhuck92 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    I’m not necessarily a Flyers fan, but I’ve always been high on Couturier. He’s going to be a solid player if he keeps up this kind of work ethic.

  6. blackandorangeforlife - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Can Coots get better offensively?….Sure….As a Flyers fan would i like to see that happen?….Sure…..But not if it took away from his Defensive play!

  7. ironyisadeadscene - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    He’s good but ugh….that beard

    • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      Not only is it ugly, but it affects his play. Not a joke. I bet we don’t see it again for his next playoff appearance.

    • mebailey700 - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Haha it’s pretty disgusting man. Have you noticed how many red heads the flyers have on their roster?

      • mcphillthy - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Hahaha. The flyers do employ a lot of gingers. I wonder which team in Tue NHL has the most gingers on their roster…

      • mebailey700 - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Haha now that would be something worth looking in to. I would have to think the flyers win the ginger cup.

      • courtjester1234 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        they better watch out I hear gingivitis is contageous

    • flyerspsu - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      his beard is majestic

  8. wutangwild - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Can’t believe he is that young. That gongshow of a series against Pitt a few years back, he more or less shut down Malkin. Not too shabby for that young of a player. Between him and Schenn, Philly has a nice (and young) lineup of centers behind Giroux going forward

  9. kastout11 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    I am not sure, he definitely played a lot of power play minutes early this past season, and he did not do much, but that was also during the Giroux slump. He has a lot of talent, but I am not sure he will flourish offensively. If you have him center the 2nd line with Simmonds and Umberger, he might score more points, but I don’t think they want to split him and Read up. That line shuts down the top line every night. Maybe they try him on the PP again this year and he plays the minutes that Hartnell played last year.

  10. mcphillthy - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    You know you have something special when rival fans acknowledge how good of a player he is.
    I, and every other flyers fan, would love to see him increase his point totals. Coots and read both have the ability and skill to make that third line dangerous.
    As someone said above I would hate to see him lose out on the defensive side just for q couple more goals though. Coots has shut down the best in the league. The only team I recall that ran wild on them was Dallas with that Seguin line. And I tip my hat to that Seguin line.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      lol the game where rinaldo attacked roussell? that was a fun one, eh?

      • mcphillthy - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Lol. Yeah that’s the one. We got beat down that game.
        At least rinaldo showed signs of life when nobody else did.
        That was when I recognized just how good that Seguin line was. Coots is usually able to contain top talent but they ripped us apart. I think we lost 7-1 or something stupid like that?

      • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        yep. I only remember the game because of how grateful I was that I had to miss it lol. I had a positive to take out of it though. Seguin on my fantasy squad that day.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 3, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        I’m glad someone got something good from that game. I got a fear of having to play Dallas and that top line again. We can always blame it on coots beard

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 8:19 AM

        lol was I wrong on his beard thing? I remember him trimming it and snapping his slump shortly after

  11. sizzle299 - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Just want to note the consensus here that Coots is a heck of a player already with potential for a lot more- yet when the re-tread “trading Jeff Carter” or the combination re-tread “trading Carter and Richards”, the know nothings come out. For what Carter’s motivation and attitude in Philly was, would any person seriously not trade him straight-up for a Coots, let alone adding Jake to the mix, who has not peaked either?

    • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      even without Simmonds in that logic, you’re still probably right.

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