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Bolts prospects Drouin, Kucherov ‘magical’ at rookie tourney

Sep 9, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

Jonathan Drouin, Steve Yzerman Getty Images

Two of Tampa Bay’s brightest young talents were on display during this weekend’s prospects tournament in Coral Springs, Fl., and they pair didn’t disappoint.

Jonathan Drouin — the third overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — and ’11 second-rounder Nikita Kucherov were a force to be reckoned with as Tampa Bay finished the tourney with a 2-0-1 record.

“Drouin and Kucherov were kind of magical out there a few times,” Bolts head coach Rob Zettler — normally the coach with AHL Syracuse — told the team website. “Some really nice chances and an unbelievable goal.”

Kucherov, 20, finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 4G-3A in three games.

Drouin, 18, only played in two of the three games but assisted on the game-winning goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Florida.

It’ll be interesting to see how the two fare in training camp and the exhibition season.

Drouin is an elite-level talent expected to at least get a nine-game look with the Bolts to start the season.

Kucherov has experience playing against pros, having appeared in 18 games for KHL club CSKA Moscow during the 2011-12 season. He also tore apart the QMJHL last season, scoring 63 points in 33 games.

The problem for both, though, is size — Drouin is 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds; Kucherov is 6-foot and 165 pounds.

It might be asking a lot for both to come in and play at the NHL level given their current frames and, what’s more, the Bolts do have other quality youngsters looking to make the leap, including Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, J.T. Brown, Brett Connolly, Tanner Richard and Vladislav Namestnikov.

  1. sunking1 - Sep 9, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Drouin will make the team out of camp. His talent level will overcome any concerns about his size. I read an article where Drouin states he is now up to 195lbs.
    Regarding his size, this is from the Tampa Bay Times on August 26, 2013 “Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick of the June draft, said he is “pretty excited” about the team’s pre-camp rookie workouts Sept. 4-5 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. He said he has gained seven pounds of muscle over the summer and now weighs in at 195 pounds.”
    IF thats the case, he should have enough size to hold his own physically.

    • pfhockey - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      since those are just numbers, being 195 i hope his body strength holds up to be somewhat like crosby and datsyuk, if that’s the case, then he should be dominant.

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