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Drouin is ‘over’ being sent back to junior, aims to make Tampa this year

Jul 6, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Jonathan Drouin AP

When Tampa Bay Lightning 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Drouin didn’t make the team out of training camp last season, it came as a big surprise to most.

After all, he just had a monster season in the QMJHL with Halifax and it was assumed the Lightning could use the help. Instead, Drouin was sent┬áback to Halifax where he could’ve sulked, but rather he got better and is ready to make an impact on the Lightning this season as Tal Pinchevsky of shared.

“I think I’m over [being sent back]. I don’t want to think about it too much. In the end, it was their decision to send me back to juniors for another year,” Drouin said. “Obviously you want to prove them wrong, but as the year went on I think I was playing more for the Mooseheads than anything else. You forget about being cut and you move on a little bit. It was a big deal, but I’m only 19 years old. I have many years in front of me to try to make the club.”

While he’s 19, he’s coming off another monster season in the QMJHL where he had 29 goals and 79 assists. The previous season saw him score 41 goals so he’s got the skills to fill the net and help others.

Adding that sort of ability to the current Lightning roster could make them serious contenders to win the Eastern Conference next season. If Drouin can fit in seamlessly he could also be looking at a Calder Trophy as well. He may have been disappointed with being sent back last year, but big things are coming.

  1. stevepopo - Jul 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Toronto, Boston, Philly… I hate them. Never hated Tampa Bay.

    However, I think I will be soon enough. That team is stacked and if we play our cards right, we’ll be contending with them in 2020 for the East. For the next five years, Tampa is going to dominate.

    -Sabres fan

  2. royalvoyager - Jul 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Kids a stud. If he makes it i think we’ll see the Lightning even stronger, with another elite top 6 forward. My prediction is they end up 2nd in the East to the Bruins. Outstanding offense, growing defense, solid goaltending. The Lightning look good.
    Imagine Drouin on Stamkos’ wing..Geez.

  3. avscup - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Tampa is loading up like Colorado did. Duchene, O’Reilly, Landescog, Mackinnon all from recent drafts. All made the Avs as 17-18 year olds, two Calder winners.

    Tampa should be tough for a while. Edmonton tried the same and it has not worked out so you never know. They need to put the right veterans around them and it looks like they have but you just never know.

    • lsxphotog - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Edmonton hasn’t put a team together, that’s why they aren’t translating into wins. How many talented, inexperienced forward can they possibly acquire before they realize they have to trade 1 or 2 away for their value and bring back pieces the team needs to win. Instead, they will brad for years about their host of young talent…all playing at forward.

  4. milkmemalkin - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    A little bird told me that what really happened in TB last year was that Marty St. Louis caught his wife sleeping with Jonathan Drouin. He just used the Olympics as a cover up as the reason he wanted out of town. Drouin was sent back to junior because of his off-ice involvement with Mrs. St Louis and not because he was not NHL ready.

    • hotlanta57 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      It pains me to agree with this clown but I heard something similar. They needed time to move St. Louis

    • thefinalcut8 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Yep maybe the rumor wasnt just a rumor. Oh well. Lets go bolts

    • rbbbaron - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Whatever may be the case, I’d say Yzerman managed it well

      • hotlanta57 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        It certainly would make sense that something like this happened. Why else would they send Drouin back to juniors? You are completely right that Stevie Y handled the situation like the consummate professional he is.

    • sgs32 - Jul 6, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      wow, feel sorry for St.Louis after that rough year he has had, if this is true, his mom and just losing the stanley cup, kudos for rebounding nicely

  5. pj608 - Jul 6, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Next Martin St. Louis??? Looking forward to seeing what this kid can do.

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