For Jonathan Drouin the time leading up to the 2013 NHL draft was pretty crazy. Ahead of the draft many thought he would be lucky to go in the top 5, heck most even credited his success to having Nathan MacKinnon as his centre. However, as the draft moved closer and he got some time at the World Juniors, people finally started to see the talent that Drouin was. By the time the draft rolled around he was in the debate to go first overall.
Obviously Jonathan Drouin didn’t hear his name called first overall, but he did manage to go inside the top 5 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
When and where was he drafted?
How did his 2013-2014 season go
Despite many believing Drouin was good enough to begin the year with the Lightning, the team decided to send him back to the QMJHL to get a little more seasoning and prove he could play without MacKinnon. Once back with the Halifax Mooseheads, he certainly proved he could still produce at an elite level without MacKinnon by his side.
“A natural playmaker, his head is always up looking for an open teammate. His vision is very impressive, setting up players even when they don’t expect it.” ~Aaron Vickers
Drouin was the only player taken in the top 5 to not play a minute in the NHL last season and that was a tough pill for Drouin to swallow. Despite seeing his line mate and best buddy from the Mooseheads crack his NHL team right away, Drouin sucked up his feelings and showed Lightning GM Steve Yzerman that he made a big mistake.
He played in just 46 games with the Moosehead (3 less than in 2013) but managed to improve his point total from the year he played alongside MacKinnon. In 46 games Drouin recorded 29 goals and 108 points, 3 more than last year. He also played a much bigger role on team Canada at the World Juniors, recording 9 points in 7 games.
While he prefers to pass the puck and set-up his teammates, when he has to or wants to, Drouin has the skills to light the rink on fire as he dazzles his way down the ice and past opponents.
Throughout the past 3 years with the Mooseheads, Drouin has averaged 1.86 points a game. Averaging almost 2 points a game for a three-year period, which is an impressive feat. In fact, last year without MacKinnon, he put up 2.34 points a game. This kid has skills no matter who you pair him with.
Here’s an interesting highlight from a 7 point night by Drouin.
Thoughts On Last Season
“The puck just seems to be glued on his stick at times. He’s very creative in the offensive zone, almost to a fault. He protects the puck very well, especially for a player of his size.”
Getting sent back to the QMJHL was a tough and disappointing pill for Jonathan Drouin to swallow. Being told you’re not ready, not good enough, despite seeing your linemate dominate the NHL isn’t a great feeling. However, Drouin made the most of his opportunity back in the QMJHL as he dominated and led the Mooseheads all season long. If nothing else, Drouin proved that he has nothing left to prove in the QMJHL.
Not only did he put up points, he impressed a lot of people and proved he is more than ready for the NHL this upcoming season. While he can certainly score, he is going to a solid play-maker next season and his linemates will love him. There is even some talk he could replace Martin St. Louis and feed Steven Stamkos his one-timers in the future. Drouin has the skills to be the best rookie next season and should have a solid year in the NHL.
He used his disappointment to fuel his year and is likely a better and more ready prospect ahead of this season for the Lightning. Sometimes a hard pill to swallow is just what the doctor ordered.