Jonathan Drouin To Begin Pro Career in the AHL


At long last Tampa Bay Lightning fans are finally going to get their first opportunity to see Jonathan Drouin in a game. Unfortunately he’ll begin his pro career in the AHL with Syracuse for a two-week conditioning stint. The good news though is the NHL and Drouin will meet very soon.

The 19 year-old 3rd overall pick from the 2013 NHL draft was finally ready to make the jump from the QMJHL after a season proving to the Lightning he could produce without Nathan MacKinnon by his side. He proved just that producing more points without MacKinnon last season and entered camp with a lot of expectations.

Expected to make the Lightning roster right out of camp and challenge for the Calder Trophy, Drouin was sidelined by a thumb injury suffered during camp. Now that his broken thumb has been healed, the Lightning have sent Drouin to the AHL to get his speed back before bringing him to the Lightning.

Drouin entered training camp, and the season, as the NHL’s top rated prospect knocking on the door of the NHL. He knocked and the Lightning answered and pretty soon Drouin will find himself paired with Steven Stamkos to feed him those deadly one-timers. While Drouin can do it all himself, he’s more of a playmaker. He seems to always find teammates with those perfect passes right on the tap, at the right time.

Drouin will join the Syracuse Crunch for their game on Friday and should be recalled to join the Lightning in the near future as his NHL debut seems to be sooner rather than later. The Crunch play Friday and Saturday and then have a 3 game road trip next weekend. With 5 AHL games under his belt Jonathan Drouin could be ready for some NHL play.

Jonathan Drouin can play two weeks with the Crunch before the Lightning have to make a final decision on the young prospect. Being that he’s only 19 and played last season in the QMJHL, if he’s not in the NHL he must be returned to the QMJHL. However, all signs point to him joining the Lightning.