Jonathan Drouin (27) on the first day of the 2013 Tampa Bay Lightning Prospect Development Camp at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon on July 6, 2013. PHOTO CREDIT: Tasha N. Meares

Jonathan Drouin: What Kind of Impact Will He Have on the Tampa Bay Lightning Next Season?

What kind of impact will Jonathan Drouin have on the Tampa Bay Lightning this season? This is a question that has been on the lips of many of the fans in the Tampa Bay area. Well, now that the Lightning has begun their 2013 Prospect Development Camp, I think the answer is starting to come into focus.

After the Tampa Bay Lightning selected left wing Jonathan Drouin with their 3rd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, people started to wonder what Drouin would have to offer a team that many would say should be pursuing a defenseman.

Now that the fans have had an opportunity to see Drouin live and on the ice the picture is definitely becoming clearer.

While it is too early in the off-season to be able to say with 100% certainty whether or not any specific player is going to be on the main roster next season, there are a few players that I am willing to go out on a limb with about 98.9% certainty that we will see in a Lightning jersey next season.

Radko Gudas is just one of the many names on that list; however, rounding out my Top 2 is Jonathan Drouin.

The 18 year old left winger is pure talent.

After watching him in Prospect Camp, I am thoroughly amazed with his skill. He is a very fast skater with good puck control, quick decision making, and tremendous playmaking ability.

Like I said in my look inside the Lightning’s Prospect Development Camp, watching the 5’10”, 186 pound Huberdeau, Quebec native control the puck and make plays is like watching a Vincent Van Gogh painting unfold stroke by stroke on the canvas right in front of your very eyes. His fluid motion and Lightning fast reflexes that could make the most difficult of plays look like child’s play.

Last season with the Halifax Mooseheads, Drouin scored 41 goals and 64 assists for a total of 105 points to go along with his plus-48 rating. This was just in a matter of 49 games!

During the playoffs, Drouin added another 12 goals and 23 assists for an additional 35 points added to his season totals.

These numbers remind me a lot of the numbers put up by Lightning RW Martin St. Louis, who scored 17 goals and a league leading 43 assists for a total of 60 points for the season. St. Louis also led the league in points for the regular season.

Adding another playmaker like St. Louis to the offense that the Lightning has in place right now could make for an explosive combination.

If you stick Drouin on the first line, paired up with Steven Stamkos, then move Marty to the second line paired up with new Lightning center Valtteri Filppula, you have two incredibly skilled playmakers on the Top 2 lines with 2 players that are natural snipers.

What better combination could you possibly ask for?

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the puck to drop at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in October. The Lightning have made a lot of changes this season, and with the new high powered offense in combination with the fact that the holes in defense are being filled rather quickly by players like Gudas, we are going to be in for a whole new game next season.

What do you think of the Lightning’s newest left winger? Do you think Drouin will ultimately make the main roster next season? Leave a comment in the section below and let your voice be heard!


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