Where does Flyers' Sean Couturier rank among NHL's best centers?

Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra
NBC Sports Philadelphia

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra.

The topic: Where does Sean Couturier rank among the NHL's best centers?

Hall

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A considerable fuss was made on social media among Flyers fans when the NHL Network published a ranking of top-20 centers in the league. Jeremy Roenick chimed in, as well.

Couturier did not make either cut and Flyers fans justifiably took exception.

You'd be hard-pressed to argue that Couturier has not climbed into that echelon over the past two seasons. Among all NHL centers since 2017-18, the 26-year-old is tied for 10th in goals with 64 - the same total as Sidney Crosby - and tied for 11th in points with 152. Over that span, his 21:51 ice time per game ranks fourth, his plus-36 is eighth and not one center on the list has played more shorthanded minutes.

The 2017-18 Frank J. Selke Trophy runner-up plays in all situations, logs heavy minutes, wins faceoffs and now he's making his mark statistically.

It's quite simple: Couturier is a top-20 center in this league.

1. Connor McDavid
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Nathan MacKinnon
4. John Tavares
5. Steven Stamkos
6. Aleksander Barkov
7. Brayden Point
8. Auston Matthews
9. Patrice Bergeron
10. Mark Scheifele
11. Evgeni Malkin
12. Sebastian Aho
13. Tyler Seguin
14. Evgeny Kuznetsov
15. Ryan O'Reilly
16. Jack Eichel
17. Sean Monahan
18. Nicklas Backstrom
19. Sean Couturier
20. Jonathan Toews


















Destra

Couturier continues to fly under the radar, not only on the scale of importance for the Flyers but also across the entire NHL. It has to stop - it's finally time he gets the recognition he deserves, especially after the leaps and bounds that were made over the past two seasons of his career.

Not to mention, he was one of six centers last season that averaged over 22 minutes TOI (22:08), all while having his second straight 30-plus-goal season.

If Couturier wasn't coming off of his MCL injury at the start of the season, odds are he would have ended in the 85-90-point range (he finished with 76 points through 80 games).

His importance is only going to continue to grow as the 26-year-old is heading into the prime of his career.

Couturier should've been a top-20 center this season, there's no way around it. He not only has the stats to prove it but also found a way to make those he shared a line with better players - something that often goes unnoticed.

1. Connor McDavid
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Nathan MacKinnon
4. Steven Stamkos
5. John Tavares
6. Brayden Point
7. Aleksander Barkov
8. Auston Matthews
9. Mark Scheifele
10. Patrice Bergeron
11. Sebastian Aho
12. Tyler Seguin
13. Jack Eichel
14. Ryan O'Reilly
15. Sean Couturier
16. Evgeny Kuznetsov
17. Evgeni Malkin
18. Sean Monahan
19. Nicklas Backstrom
20. Logan Couture


















It may be a little early to give a prediction for 2019-20 - but Couturier will be a top-10 center in the NHL. Just wait and see.

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Where does Flyers' Sean Couturier rank among NHL's best centers? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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