San Jose reassigned Couture, the ninth overall pick in the draft, to the OHL's Ottawa 67's on Tuesday. The high-scoring centre had a brief stint in training camp with the Sharks, who traded up twice in June to draft him.
The Sharks also assigned left wing Jamie McGinn to Ottawa. McGinn was a second-round pick in 2006.
The Sharks haven't been afraid to give a big-league chance to young players in recent seasons. Milan Michalek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski all earned roster spots earlier than expected, with the 19-year-old Vlasic claiming a spot during last fall's training camp instead of returning to juniors.