San Jose Sharks: Why Logan Couture Is One of the NHL's Up-and-Coming Centers

Eric He@@erichesportsContributor IIOctober 20, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01:  Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks during the preseason NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on October 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.   The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 3-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Logan Couture, drafted seventh in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has already proven that he is not a draft bust. Putting up thirty-two goals in his rookie season and finishing as the runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy, Couture has developed nicely into one of the best up-and-coming centers in the league.

Even at age 22, Couture has shown the experience and poise of a veteran on and off the ice. He has a steady stream of nearly 60,000 followers on Twitter, which has definitely popularized him around the NHL.

Couture has also grown into a leader. 

Says Tim Kawakami of San Jose Mercury News:

It might be two years from now, maybe more, but Couture is destined to wear the “C” for the Sharks whenever Thornton lays it aside, and Couture will be a fiery captain, no doubt.

Couture just has too much talent, too much personality, and too much responsibility for any other career path.

Sharks players agree that Couture was their most valuable player last season.  "No argument," captain Joe Thornton says. "He was great from the start". 

Couture was also commended by line mate Ryane Clowe:

"When I first played with Logan, I thought he was more of a playmaking center man," Clowe said. "Then I realized how much he loves to shoot the puck and what a great shot he has. I kind of like to pass the puck more, so that worked out well."

Clowe also has high praise for Couture's defensive play.

"He's probably not going to run guys through the boards to take them off the puck, but he's tenacious, and he'll get under the stick," Clowe said. "He scoots in and out of traffic real well and isn't afraid to take a few bumps."

But it will get tougher this year, since teams know what Couture brings to the table. 

"I do expect them to check a little tighter this year," Couture says. "Teams will have video of me and my tendencies, so I'll have to find different ways to produce."

However teams choose to defend Couture, he will adapt accordingly and have a good season. 

"I just try and play my game. I want to be a complete player in this league," said Couture. "If I get talked about that, it's an honor, but I'm not too worried about that, I'm worried about just making the playoffs."