Less-Heralded Nick Cousins A Wild Card To Make The Flyers
The Jeff Carter trade is the gift that keeps on giving.
Everyone remembers where they were when the trade happened, and know all too well the details of that trade. Jakub Voracek and a pair of draft picks were traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to Philadelphia for the talented center.
The 2011 first round pick, 8th overall, turned into center Sean Couturier, who made a major impact in his first two seasons. The less heralded third round pick (63rd overall) turned out to be another center by the name of Nick Cousins, who will be looking to make an impact in the near future as well.
TCL Flyers was on location for Thursday’s session of this year's development camp and Cousins was one of the players that stood out, showing determination, including fantastic battles in the board and crease drills. The 5’10, 175 pound winger would not give up, even against much bigger players.
Cousins gave it his all throughout the session, likely impressing the Flyers development team, including former players Ian Laperriere and Derian Hatcher.
When Cousins eventually cracks the roster, the Flyers will welcome the tenacity that Cousins brings to the team, as he's been compared to the Boston Bruins agitator Brad Marchand. If Cousins can bring that same play like Marchand does for Boston, the Flyers will definitely have hit a home run with this draft pick.
Cousins was second in the Ontario Hockey League in assists for 2013, finishing with 76. He racked 27 goals for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last season and got his feet wet when he was promoted to the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Phantoms, where he played seven games at the end of the season.
Cousins may only have collected one assist with Adirondack, but he got valuable experience with his two weeks with a professional hockey club.
Cousins does come with baggage though. While playing in the Ontario Hockey League, he was charged with sexual assault in 2012, which was later dropped.
Hopefully, the young Cousins has learned from the experience and will make himself better off the ice as well as on it.
Although it is likely Cousins will start the season in Adirondack, there's a chance he could be an injury call up this year or possibly make the Flyers outright next year.
Under Phantoms head coach Terry Murray, Cousins should continue his development into an NHL player. He should be considered to be a key player on the roster and will likely play many minutes, which will benefit Cousins in the long run.
Cousins may not be the biggest or the most skilled player, but he has heart and determination, two things that will go very far in the National Hockey League.