As we all know, the 2013 NHL Draft is just around the corner. On June 30th, 2013 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, home of the New Jersey Devils, the Tampa Bay Lightning will have the third overall pick. In this article, we will take a look at one of the prospects that the Lightning could potentially select with their 3rd overall pick, Jonathan Drouin, and what impact he could have on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Huberdeau, Quebec native suited up for 49 games with the Mooseheads during the regular season. In that time, he found the back of the net 41 times along with 64 assists for a total of 105 points and a whopping plus-48 rating.
However, that would not be the end of Drouin’s journey this season. With teammate, and fellow draft prospect Nathan MacKinnon, the Halifax Mooseheads continued on through the post season to win the President’s Cup, the QMJHL equivalent of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup.
During the post season, Drouin would find the back of the net 12 more times, as well as add 23 more assists to his already impressive numbers, totaling 23 points. Drouin was also able to maintain a plus-22 rating throughout the playoffs.
Now that you know the numbers, it’s time to know the facts.
Drouin is very well liked amongst the NHL’s Scouting community. Dan Marr, the NHL Director of Central Scouting is rather impressed with Drouin.
His hockey sense and playmaking abilities are just over the top.”
The skilled play maker was also invited to participate in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships for Team Canada.
Now, you may ask ‘Why do we need another forward? We already have plenty of scoring power on our team?’
In theory, you are indeed correct. We have the two time “Rocket” Richard winning center Steven Stamkos, the 2012-13 NHL Points Leader Martin St. Louis, and the captain Vincent Lecavalier. On the Syracuse Crunch, we have people like Tyler Johnson and Brett Connolly waiting in the wings for what they hope is their spot on the Lightning’s main roster next season. These are all very valuable point scoring assets.
However, we have a dark truth that we are going to have to face in the near future. As I said in my original draft prediction, when the 2015-16 season rolls around, right wing Martin St. Louis will become an Unrestricted Free Agent, and at 40 years of age, it is very questionable as to whether he will choose to continue his career in the NHL as a player.
I know that this is something that none of us, me especially, want to think about, but the sad truth is that not one of us are in possession of a TARDIS (insert random Doctor Who reference), and therefore cannot stop our favorite players from growing older and choosing to retire.
This is where Drouin could be most valuable to us.
He’s one of those ‘thread the needle’ passers. He can be on the ice, and he can create a play out of nothing that’s there.” Marr continued about Drouin’s play style.
According to the scouting community, his game style is much like that of our beloved #26.
With that in mind, that is why I think it is very likely when draft day rolls around that Jonathan Drouin will be the Tampa Bay Lightning’s selection.
Do you think Drouin is the right pick for the Lightning? Do you think with time, he will be ready to fill such big shoes? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.