The Flyers showed they believe Sean Couturier is about to turn the corner in his career, giving the 22-year-old center a six-year contract extension Tuesday that totals $26 million, with an annual cap hit of $4.33 million.

Couturier, who scored a career-high 15 goals last season, had one year left on a deal that will pay him $2 million ($1.75 million cap hit) in 2015-16.

"We're happy to be committed long term," Couturier said. "They believe in me, and I love Philly, and I'm really happy to be there."

Selected eighth overall in the 2011 draft, Couturier has been a defensive specialist in his four seasons with the Flyers. He managed 37 points last season, a year in which he spent a good amount of time starting plays from the defensive zone.

He is expected to be the Flyers' second-line center under new coach Dave Hakstol.

"I met him once this summer," Couturier said. "He looks like a great guy. Well-prepared and has a vision. Knows what he wants and what he demands from his players."

Couturier called the contract extension a "boost of confidence."

"I'm really looking forward to coming to camp and trying to take another step forward," he said. "I'm not going to change as a player or as a person. I'm going to be the same type of player and just try to definitely produce a little more offensively."

After last season, Couturier played a major role as Team Canada was perfect in Prague, going 10-0 and winning the IIHF world championship.

In addition to scoring seven points in 10 games, Couturier played outstanding defense and was tied for second in the tourney with a plus-13 rating. He was not on the ice for any even-strength goals.

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