Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin Isn’t Going Anywhere

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Oct 24, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

There is a quote from a person named Saadi that I really loved to describe this situation. “Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” The life of an NHL player is hard, especially for a 20-year-old kid who was always one of the best players on his own team and if not the entire league that he played in growing up. Just like in any sport, all young players are going to go through growing pains and Drouin is no exception.

Going into the draft, Drouin was highly regarded as one of the top overall prospects in the 2013 class. He had speed, he had skill, he had vision, and he had the making of a player that could one day be a top 10 scorer in the NHL. Well, there is nothing that has changed my mind that Drouin can not one day live up to those high expectations that were set for him coming out of Canadian junior. The reason why? A combination of individual skill and the players around him.

In 70 games last season, Drouin recorded 4 goals and 28 assists for a total of 32 points. That may not seem like a lot, but in comparison to the amount of ice time, Drouin was third on the team with 2.07 points/60 mins of ice time. This while playing on the fourth line for a majority of the time with players like Brian Boyle and Brenden Morrow that aren’t known to be major scoring threats.

Speaking of Brian Boyle, the big man scored 15 goals in his first season in a Lightning uniform. A big reason for this? To go along with his impressive short handed goals, Drouin played a role in many of the times Boyle found twine with his shots. This is a prime example, and it is fun to watch.

Next: The Future Drouin/Stamkos Combination