Sep 24, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT
Jonathan Drouin is headed back to left wing after a 12-day trial at center — and he’s returning to the wing in style.
Tampa Bay’s first round pick (No. 3 overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft will audition for a spot on the team’s top line alongside Martin St. Louis and Steve Stamkos, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“It was exciting to be on a line with those two guys,” Drouin explained after skating with St. Louis and Stamkos during Monday’s scrimmage (the trio is expected to play together tonight vs. Nashville).
“They make plays. They’re smart. It makes everything easier on the ice.”
The Bolts had tested Drouin out at center to start training camp but, with Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula slotted in as the top two pivots, it made sense to return Drouin to his natural spot on the wing.
It’s a place he excelled during a standout junior career, scoring 41 goals and 105 points in just 49 games for QMJHL Halifax last season, winning CHL Player of the Year and the 2013 Memorial Cup.
Stamkos, a two-time Rocket Richard trophy winner, was excited to be lined up with another skill forward.
“It’s something that’s been talked about when he came here where he’ll fit in,” Stamkos said. “Any time you get to play with a skill player like that, you’re excited to see what the chemistry is.”
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