The No. 8th overall pick and Flyers first-round pick of this year’s NHL Entry Draft Sean Couturier enters his first NHL camp this summer. At the end of each day, philadelphiaflyers.com will catch up with Couturier to hear about his experience on and off the ice…
I think the whole week went by pretty fast. I was really excited to be here. I was anxious to get here, then a little nervous the night before but today especially playing the scrimmage I was really comfortable. It was great to get to know all of the guys too. It made it that much better.
Also, the other thing that really helped out was the way we’re treated by the coaches, staff and management. They’re very welcoming here and I really think this week really helped me feel a part of the organization especially since being drafted. With all of the team bonding that we did… It just made it a lot of fun with each other.
The scrimmage today had some good action. I tried to keep my shifts short and work hard while I’m out there. I tried to just keep it simple having not touched the puck too much since my season ended. It was a really good pace. We were pretty competitive out there and it felt good to get into that spirit again.
Everything and everyone is quicker, faster and stronger so going back now it really gives you motivation to continuously work hard. You really get to see first hand that you need to work hard every time you’re out there.
Being around here and coming back in September, my main goal is to make this team. At the same time I’m going to work hard and show [the coaches] what I got and it’ll be up to the staff on what they do with me.
On the same level I really had fun this week. That’s really why we all play this game - to play hard, score goals and win games.
This week was another step for my dream to play in the NHL. It was great being drafted and it’s a step-by-step process. You can look back and it’s great to see yourself go up the ladder, but at the same time the hard work is just starting. You have to work harder to make the NHL and harder to stay up there and harder to make a name for yourself up there. That’s my goal.
One other thing: I can’t wait for September because practicing in front of these fans was exciting. This week really showed me and the other first-year guys how really big the Flyers are!
DAYS 4 & 5: PAINTBALL!
I was pretty happy to get the softball victory after the beach event the other day. Me and Ben Holmstrom almost collided on one play, but I called for it and made the out… after that we had dinner at the Yacht club there [in Stone Harbor] and that was really nice to get out to a restaurant and eat after eating at hotels and at the practice rink mostly all week. It was a little exhausting but a really fun day.
Yesterday we got back on the ice and it felt good to be back out there. There have been big crowds everyday, which is pretty amazing to see for a summer camp. We were just commenting on that back in the room how exciting that is to see. It’s pretty special to just be practicing in front of a crowd like this, especially in the middle of summer.
The best part of the day was definitely Paintball. It was a bit scary at first being out there with 40 different guys firing all over the place but we all had a blast. Guys were taking it pretty seriously. Right away I stuck my head out and got hit in the head, so I was out for the first game early.
Brayden was on my team too and he lasted a little bit longer, but he got hit in the elbow and was out. When he was walking back out of the field he got hit a couple more times, so that was really funny to see. We all had a laugh at that.
I haven’t really been able to see Philly at all, we don’t have cars here, so we just hang around the area where there’s a movie theater, ice cream and coffee shops. There’s a target nearby too, so I restocked on a few things like toothpaste and stuff. I’ve been hanging out mostly with my roommate, Brayden Schenn, and some guys near our room.
We haven’t really had too much one-on-one feedback from the coaches throughout camp. You talk to them in the hallway and everything, but I remember them telling us at the end of camp they’ll meet with us.
Tomorrow is the scrimmage. Teams haven’t been set yet, but I’m looking forward to it….
DAY 3: TRIAL ON THE ISLE
This morning we had to get up a little earlier than usual because of the
Trial event at the beach. We had to be at the practice rink at 7:30, so I woke up at 6:30. Me, Brayden [Schenn] and a group of us all just ate breakfast at the hotel before heading over the practice rink.
All of us got on the bus, which drove us down here, and right when we got here it started pretty quick. We went over what everyone was doing the night before and again this morning, but it’s much different when you’re in the middle of the competition. It goes really fast. Everyone wants to win, but really the day was just great and it was nice to be out in the sun for a little bit.
We [Couturier’s team] didn’t do too good, but it was a really fun experience. What caught me by surprise was the autograph session. I’m not used to seeing that many fans and signing that many autographs. You could see it was really good for the kids and they look up to us, so it’s great to see so many of them here.
They even held a little clinic outside and I got to teach how to shoot a backhand. I’m not used to that because really a couple years ago that was me going to hockey schools and taking instructions - it was a pretty funny.
Now we have a softball game coming up, which I’m looking forward to because I’ve played some baseball growing up as well. I also hear that last year’s team lost, so I’m sure we’re all going to be looking for a little payback…
Last night we didn’t really do anything. After supper we all just went back to the hotel. Everyone is on the same floor of the hotel, so it’s not like all doors are closed. Some guys, who have been here before go out and do their own thing, but mostly we all just hang out basically. Some people watched movies, TV and played some video games.
Today was much of the same as yesterday actually except for the fact that all forwards were together, then all of the d-men were together, so that was a bit different.
I’m getting more and more into a routine, as are most of the guys because we haven’t played hockey too much this summer coming off of our seasons, but for me, I’m feeling more comfortable.
Today we had some interviews for the team and had our official Flyers headshot taken which was pretty cool.
We had a presentation today where we were taught about sleep, rest & recovery and how important that is. They’re very good here. You take what you can from those meetings and learn not just on-ice stuff here.
We also had a little meeting about the Trial tomorrow (Trial on the Isle). It’ll be my first one, but I’m running so it’s nothing too complicated. They pretty much picked the teams for the competitions and then within the teams we decided ourselves what we were going to do (running, paddle-boating or bicycling). So we’ll see how that turns out…
* Couturier is on a team with Etienne Boutet (paddle-board) and Vincent LoVerde (bike) *
Well, my camp really started yesterday (Tuesday). My flight from Montreal into Philly got in around 11:30-noon. There was a car to pick up about seven or eight of us off of a couple different flights.
I spent most of the day at the hotel, where I met my roommate Brayden Schenn. We were teammates together at the World Junior Championships, so we kind of knew each other a little bit and its fun to be with someone you know.
We went over to the practice rink and had a good meeting last night, which pretty much explained what was going on for the week and the rules & regulations. Past that there wasn’t much. I went to bed around 10:30-11 p.m.
I got up this morning and ate breakfast. I got here around 8 a.m. and was actually a little bit nervous, but then once I got here we had a team stretch, warmed up and I started in the group that trained first so I felt more comfortable during that and then I got on the ice and felt even more comfortable. I felt pretty good being out there today.
I’m not used to the facility being this nice, just from being in juniors. The feeling around here is really good.
Tonight, I don’t know really what we have planned. We have a team supper here at the rink around 6 p.m., but other than that I think we’re just going to hang out at the hotel.