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Lightning weighing decision heavily to keep Drouin

Sep 28, 2013, 9:08 PM EDT

Jonathan Drouin AP

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a big decision on their hands with 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Drouin. Will he stay or will he go back to juniors?

Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune hears from GM Steve Yzerman about what they’re thinking about most when it comes to their top pick.

“Mostly, we want him playing. And if he’s not going to play regular (in the NHL), I want him playing. I don’t really have a timetable on it because we do have the luxury …to stagger their games and delay it for as long as you really want. So, it’s not like we are under a time crunch or anything.”

The Lightning, like any team with a player who’s junior eligible, can have Drouin play in nine games before making a decision. If he plays in more than that, they’ll burn the first year of his contract.

Drouin comes to Tampa with high expectations and a lot of talent. That said, sometimes it takes time for guys to be ready. At 18 years old, he may not be totally ready to go. Expect him to get a long look through at least his first nine games before a decision is made.

Related: Drouin: ‘Exciting’ to play with Stamkos, St. Louis on Bolts’ top line

  1. travishenryskid - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Not a hard decision. He stays. Remember when Barry Melrose didn’t want to play Stamkos? Yeah, that was dumb.

    • pfhockey - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      46 points in 79 games, Do you remember the time Stamkos played 4-8 mins per game in the first half, he needed to understand the game quickly, I’m sure Drouin could do it, but you are comparing a very highly rated prospect(stamkos) to someone(drouin) who wasn’t in the top 10 ranking at the season of the 2013 draft pool(in the beginning). Last time that happened, Erik Johnson. He isn’t NHL ready IMO, watching him play in the NHL, he surely could learn over the season like stamkos but I wouldn’t risk rushing him(like connolly). You are comparing two unlike players, Stamkos put up nearly a goal per game with who in the Juniors? Drouin has a championship caliber team in the Juniors and MacKinnon. But Stamkos played great in the preseason in his rookie year, though Drouin didn’t put up points getting good time playing against easier teams who are nearly complete on their roster. You can’t say someone is ready based on their skills alone, confidence, the roster, and awareness play a big part in Production. Looks to me as Yzerman doesn’t want to rush him and he doesn’t want to hurt the team defensively and he’d be in a pickle if Drouin struggles past nine games, reminiscent of the Connolly situation.

  2. themagicfanguy - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    He should stay.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Stay , this kid on a line with stamkos and St. Louis will be dynamite

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Yeah that line is scary to think about. I’m glad St. Louis is up there in age so we only gotta see this line for a few years. Stamkos and St. Louis are one of the best lines in the league alone and then you add Drouin and I can see them puttin up the most points combine for sure.

  4. imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Send him back to Halifax

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