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Drouin grew by spending extra season in juniors

Jul 13, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

Jonathan Drouin AP

The 2012-13 QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads were a superb team with top prospects Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon leading the charge. They were taken with the third and first overall picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft respectably and that’s where their careers began down different paths.

MacKinnon earned a spot with the Colorado Avalanche and won the Calder Trophy while the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to return Drouin to Halifax. Without MacKinnon to back him up, Drouin was still a dominate presence, scoring 29 goals and 108 points in 46 regular season games. He was even better in the playoffs with 13 goals and 41 points in 16 contests, although it wasn’t enough to save the Mooseheads in the QMJHL semifinals.

“I’m more mature as a person. I think I grew a little bit being one of the older guys on the [junior] team, seeing things you didn’t see when you were 16 or 17,” Drouin said, per the Lightning’s official site. “A lot of things were tough for me. It helped me grow as a person. Not winning was the toughest thing.”

Lightning director of player personal Stacy Roest noted that Drouin’s conditioning was better in 2013-14 and that led to him getting a lot faster.

Now 19 years old, Drouin is in a much better position to make the Lightning and potentially follow in his former linemates’ footsteps by winning the Calder Trophy.

“It’s one of my goals to win the Calder one day. But I also want to go far in the playoffs, which is an even better feeling,” Drouin said.

  1. lordfletcher - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    its just not fair a quality team like Tampa got to draft him (Jealous)

    him and stammer, O M G

  2. ctcork - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    My only sweater has Marty’s name on it. Too early to buy this kids’? Tough call. Stammer seems the obvious choice but if Drouin is who we think he is, he’ll be in Tampa for years to come

    • tampabayirish - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      I have two Lightning jerseys. Neither one has a name or number on them.

      • ctcork - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        Maybe it’s just me but hockey jerseys just don’t look right without a name and number. I refuse to get a name and number on my soccer jerseys but I have to have someone on my sweater

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        No point getting a name, unless it’s a team legend I feel, cuz the disappointment of having St. Louis name on a jersey considering how things played out would make the jersey kind of useless down the road.

        As a Canucks fan I’d put Linden, Brodeur, Snepts, Bure, Naslund, Tanti, Sundstrom, Gradin, Odjick, Maniago, Kurtenbach, McLean, etc… on a jersey before I put any current player’s name on one… you never know how it’ll turn out these days… except the Sedins, I’d get Daniel or Hank’s number on a jersey for sure… solid guys in the community

  3. lightning79 - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Can’t wait to see this guy play, I hope they ease him into the lineup.

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