Jonathan Drouin Out With Thumb Injury


It appears that Jonathan Drouin’s goal of cracking the Tampa Bay Lightning out of training camp this season is over, after he fractured his thumb during rookie camp. Drouin was expected to be one of the top Lightning forwards coming out of camp and even expected to challenge for the Calder Trophy.

The injury occurred during a two-on-two battle during rookie camp last Thursday and kept Drouin out of camp over the weekend until he went for an X-ray on Monday. The X-ray revealed the fracture, despite the team not believing the injury was all that serious originally.

The Lightning announced the 19 year-old will miss 3-4 weeks while his thumb heals up which will likely sideline him for the rest of the pre-season and the start of the regular season. Drouin was drafted third overall by the Lightning in 2013, two spots behind teammate Nathan MacKinnon who went first overall. Both MacKinnon and Drouin had put on spectacular seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads.

They were teammates, line mates, draft mates and competed for Canada at the U20 World Championships together. However, that ended last season when Drouin was returned to Halifax for another season with the Mooseheads, while MacKinnon dominated in the NHL en route to a Calder Trophy with the Avalanche.

The Lightning weren’t 100% sure of what they had gotten in Drouin. He’s an excellent set up man and had great chemistry with MacKinnon, but could he produce with the first overall pick by his side? With 108 points in the QMJHL last season, 3 more than with MacKinnon, Drouin more than proved that he was capable of holding his own and producing. Drouin even earned some talk of becoming Steven Stamkos‘ next set-up man with Martin St. Louis out of the picture.

In the post season Drouin took it to another level recording 41 points in 16 games with the Mooseheads. Unfortunately for Drouin they did not repeat as QMJHL champions and there was no return trip to the Memorial Cup. Never the less, Drouin had a stellar season in the QMJHL proving he could produce on his own and that there is nothing left for him there.

There is very little chance Drouin was or will be returned to the QMJHL after two seasons of 100+ points, there is very little if anything left for the top rookie to show down in juniors. Even a conditioning stint would likely be a waste of time for Drouin. The Lightning are still optimistic he’ll be good to go by the start of the regular season on October 9th.