Logan Couture finished with yet another 20-plus goal season. He had 23 goals and 30 assists on the season in 65 games. During the playoffs, he scored one goal and had two assists in seven games.
It wasn’t a great season by Couture’s standards, but it was good enough.
Couture is a highly-skilled forward who has “good hockey sense.” He just knows where and when to be in a certain position, and is able to create for teammates and himself. His hustle and gritty work has not gone unnoticed; Couture is usually the one battling on the boards for the puck and sacrificing his body to make plays.
He spent the majority of the season centering the second line and the second power play unit. On most teams, he would be the first line center and a marquee player, but on the Sharks, he still ranks below Joe Thornton. There’s no question, however, that Couture is one of the players that make up the Sharks’ future core, and if Thornton departs this offseason, look for Couture to take an expanded role on the team.
Injury took its toll on Couture this season, and hopefully it isn’t a harbinger of things to come. He missed 16 games with a hand injury, then sustained a foot injury late in the season that make have impacted him during the playoffs.
Speaking of which, Couture, like most of the Sharks’ impact players, was nearly a non-factor in the seven-game series against the Kings. Couture had just one goal and two assists, which is not as much as the Sharks would like to see out of their young star.
In an interview after the playoff debacle, Couture voiced his disappointment.
“It’s still devastating, it doesn’t get any easier,” Couture told Hockey Night In Canada Radio. “It’s been impossible to watch any more hockey since we lost.”
Couture’s best goal of the season came in late December against the Ducks. His skill-set is on full display here. Watch as Couture knocks down a bouncing puck out of mid-air, skates right by Francois Beauchemin without even having to deke, then finishes with a beautiful top-shelf backhand past the goaltender.
Not a bad way to score your 100th career NHL goal, eh? Given his age and potential, it’s not a stretch to predict Couture will be celebrating his 200th, 300th, 400th, and maybe even 500th goal in the future.