Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: jonathan drouin
The Hockey News's Jared Clinton penned a column discussing the teams that would be most impacted by the projected $2.5 million rise in the salary cap's upper limit for the 2017-18 season:
There’s no more telling situation of how a slight rise in the upper limit can benefit cap-strapped teams more than the Lightning. Tampa Bay’s situation has been one to watch and the salary cap going forward has been of some concern for almost the entire campaign. It was hard for the cap issues not to be front and center when it took until zero hour for the Lightning to ink Nikita Kucherov, the team’s 23-year-old leading scorer, to a three-year contract extension. When the deal was signed, it was the talk of the league that Lightning GM Steve Yzerman managed to get a consistent 30-goal scorer under contract for three years at less than $5 million.
Even with Kucherov signed to a team-friendly deal, though, there was still concern. The Lightning are about to enter into what are sure to be tough contract negotiations with Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, there’s the matter of locking up Jonathan Drouin to a new deal and Yzerman is also going to need to find a way to add a few more pieces — and potentially bolster his defense — by the time 2017-18 rolls around. But a savvy move at the deadline to ship out Valtteri Filppula cleared $5 million. Add in the potential for an extra $2.5 million in spending room, as well, and a once troubling cap situation has somewhat cleared up.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
It was a dazzling 47 seconds, with the puck on the Lightning wing's stick for most of it.
"I was gassed," Drouin said.
Drouin was also determined. With the Lightning blowing a two-goal lead for the second straight night — this time with 41 seconds left — it desperately needed the second point. Drouin made sure of it, his slick steal-and-deke display on the winner lifting Tampa Bay to a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
"He wasn't going to be denied on that shift," goalie Ben Bishop said. "He was a man on a mission.''
Said Tyler Johnson: "A pretty heroic effort."
read on for more on the game...
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin will miss tonight's game against the Bruins, and coach Jon Cooper isn't sure when he'll be back in the lineup.
Drouin left Tuesday's game after taking a hit to the head by Islanders D Calvin De Haan, who received a five-minute major for interference, but no supplemental discipline from the league. Drouin didn't return to the game, but has been feeling much better since. GM Steve Yzerman said Drouin is considered day-to-day. It's unknown whether or not Drouin suffered a concussion.
Cooper said Drouin will be evaluated again tonight by team doctors. Asked if he knows whether it's a short-term or long-term absence, Cooper said he didn't know. Cooper does known he'll miss the talented wing, who has five points in 10 games.
In case you missed the hit, watch below...
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
If you caught the amusement on the faces of Lightning players and coaches on Thursday afternoon, as Jonathan Drouin zipped up down and all around the ice, there was no need for an injury update.
The only lingering effect of the crushing hit by the Islanders’ Thomas Hickey on Monday was a scratch and bump on the diminutive Tampa forward’s nose.
But perhaps most importantly for the Lightning, who will look to jump out to a big 3-1 lead in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Friday night at the Barclays Arena, is that the bruise to Drouin’s ego seems to get buried deeper in the past with each game he competes in.
And if there was resentment with the petulant way he handled a demotion in the summer, it sure sounds as though Drouin’s teammates are gaining a new respect for him.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
When the Tampa Bay Lightning practiced Thursday, left wing Jonathan Drouin approached associate coach Rick Bowness. He wanted to see a video clip of a play from the night before, when the Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series.
Bowness was glad Drouin asked. He had already marked the clip to show him later.
So they went over to a whiteboard stuck to the glass and broke down the play. There was a gray area in defending a rush, and Bowness told Drouin he had stayed too wide on the backcheck. If the same situation arises in Game 2 on Friday (7 p.m.; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D), he should pressure the puck.
"It cleared up my mind," Drouin said. "I know what to do next time."
After all the drama -- Drouin clashing with coach Jon Cooper, demanding a trade, sitting out in the minors, getting suspended, not getting traded, asking to play in the minors, rejoining the Lightning for the final two regular-season games -- each side finally is getting what they want. At least for now.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Matt Taormina from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Additionally, the Bolts have reassigned defenseman Slater Koekkoek to Syracuse.
Drouin, 21, has skated in 17 games with the Crunch this season, recording 11 goals and 13 points to go along with 12 penalty minutes. He ranks tied for fifth on the Crunch with five power-play tallies, despite skating in only 17 games with Syracuse. The Ste-Agathe, Quebec native has also appeared in 19 games with the Lightning this season, posting a pair of goals and eight points. Drouin has played in 89 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past two seasons, registering six goals and 40 points.
Taormina, 29, has skated in one game with the Lightning this season, recording one shot on goal. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound defenseman has appeared in 57 career NHL games, registering four goals and 12 points. Taormina ranks tied for first among all Crunch defensemen for points with 41 this season. He leads all Syracuse defensemen for goals (13) and power-play goals (five).
from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com,
Here are 9 takeaways from his post-practice press conference:
He's back because he missed hockey
"Sitting at home is not what I wanted to do. I want to play hockey, help the Crunch,'' he said. "I missed hockey sitting at home. Watching hockey on TV and all that stuff is not what you want to do. I'm happy to be back here and playing hockey.''
"I'm a hockey player. You love hockey. You want to be part of a team.''
His relationship with Tampa Bay is salvageable
"I think our relationship's fine. We've talked to make the decision to come back here,'' he said. "I think we're going to fix this in the summer and see how it goes from there.''
There are no guarantees of a callup this season
"It's going to be up to me to put in the work. I'm not just going to get called up to get called up,'' he said. "I have to put in the work here, and that's what I plan to do.''
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have lifted the suspension of forward Jonathan Drouin and he will report to the Syracuse Crunch for practice tomorrow morning, announced vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The second year of Jonathan Drouin’s entry-level contract will be burned off even if he doesn’t play another game this season, Sportsnet has learned.
Some around the NHL had wondered if the Tampa Bay Lightning might elect to try and toll the suspended forward’s contract, but deputy commissioner Bill Daly says they don’t have the option to do so.
“We haven’t previously had a practice of allowing clubs to toll partial season breaches,” Daly wrote Thursday in an email. “Had this been the last season of the contract, however, we may have entertained an argument for some form of remedy or relief in this situation.”
As a result, any team that trades for Drouin will be acquiring him with one year left on his deal. Had it been tolled – the legal term for extending a contract when a player doesn’t satisfy its terms – the 20-year-old would arguably have been a more valuable asset since he’d be cost friendly for two more seasons.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
There was plenty of interest in Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, and the Lightning reportedly had its share of offers. But Yzerman said most talks with teams the past few months surrounded future considerations like prospects and picks.
"At this time, my feeling was, if it's not going to help me now, I'm better off keeping my options this summer," Yzerman said. "What we were looking for wasn't there today. Anything that would involve future draft picks or prospects at this time, it didn't make sense to do that. We'll have more certainty, more clarity on the salary cap and make a decision at that time."
Yzerman had said he wanted to improve his team's power play at the deadline, but wasn't willing to use Drouin as a trade chip for short-term help, unless it could really make a difference.
"I wasn't trading Jonathan Drouin for an unrestricted free agent that I couldn't or wouldn't want to resign, that made no sense," Yzerman said.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
No potential trade carries more intrigue than that of disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin.
Will he move or not before Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline?
It's a question even Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman can't answer yet.
Speaking with Lightning beat reporters Erik Erlendsson and Joe Smith on Wednesday, Yzermann expressed that he'd rather get Drouin dealt before the deadline than wait until the offseason.
It wasn't meant to be headline-making material. It's just kind of the obvious conclusion, Yzerman told ESPN.com Thursday morning.
"We're close to the trade deadline, we're trying to make the playoffs, if I can trade him and put a player on my team and make us better, isn't that common sense?" Yzerman said over the phone.
continued with more topics...
From the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Perhaps, it’s the calm before the storm.
The NHL trade deadline is set for Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. EST and while it will be tough to see a deal bigger than former Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf being moved to the Senators in a blockbuster Tuesday, there’s still a sense among league executives it’ll be busy enough between now and the cutoff date.
The issue right now is the market is flooded with forwards and that needs to sort itself out because nobody is sure just who will move and who won’t. Naturally, the biggest question mark is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, but the betting money is he won’t be going anywhere.
After his name, people are eyeing the likes of Carolina’s Eric Staal, Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, Boston’s Loui Eriksson, Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker, Columbus’ Scott Hartnell, Kyle Okposo of the Islanders and Tampa holdout Jonathan Drouin.
“Right now, there’s a lot of forwards out there,” said a league executive.
Sooner or later, someone has to move to set the market.
from Dave Hodge of TSN,
If Drouin lights it up in a new uniform and shows all the talent that made him the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, Tampa Bay is bound to look bad unless Yzerman lands similar value in a deal for Drouin. He’s the general manager of the year if he’s able to do that.
The other possibility where Drouin’s future is concerned would see him continue to struggle with his next team. That would surely brand him a flop, if he’s not considered that already, and Yzerman would forever be saddled with a draft decision gone wrong. The questions began as soon as Drouin’s name was called on that 2013 draft floor, because defenceman Seth Jones was everyone else’s idea of the best pick for Tampa Bay. Others the Lightning could have taken, and would love to have now instead of Drouin, included Sean Monahan, Rasmus Ristolainen, Bo Horvat, and Max Domi.
For the record, The Hockey News did a mock draft and prospect analysis in advance of the 2013 draft at Prudential Center and described Drouin as a “playmaking wizard”.
He was rated #3 in terms of his shot and NHL-readiness, and was at the very top of two other lists—best skill, and best hockey sense. The mock draft had him listed third as well, although it thought Jones would go number one.
Still, it’s not as though Tampa Bay was alone in its praise of Drouin.
read on for a look at Patrick Kane's season...
Before he was ever drafted by the Lightning third overall in the NHL’s 2013 entry draft, Drouin’s reputation was mostly good. A smallish but extremely skilled player, he reminded scouts a little of Kane, someone with an excellent finishing touch, who could rattle off goals like no one’s business.
That’s the reputation he had. That’s the reputation he needs to salvage – and sooner would be better than later because reputations, once developed, have a way of following someone around for a long time.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this situation.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
And now, the game of chicken really begins. Where do you guys stand on the Jonathan Drouin-Tampa Bay Lightning standoff?
Now suspended without pay after failing to report for an AHL game, it will be one of two outcomes for Drouin: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman takes the best offer and ends this thing, perhaps concerned that Drouin is a diminishing asset while sitting out; or Yzerman digs in even more, knowing he can be patient because Drouin hasn't really been part of the team this season anyway, and he can let Drouin stew at home.
If a trade happens within the next few days, people will say agent Allan Walsh played a strong card and forced Yzerman's hand. If the deal doesn't happen for a while, what you will hear is that Walsh and Drouin misplayed their hand. And here's why: I've already had a few NHL hockey execs tell me Drouin refusing to play on in the AHL raises a red flag for them on the player's makeup, makes them wonder about giving up the assets they were prepared to part with in return for Drouin. On the flip side, some teams will stick to the belief that a change of scenery is all the kid needs to flourish.
I will say that Yzerman had no choice but to suspend Drouin once the kid refused to play anymore. This isn't just about Drouin, but also about sending a message that agents and/or players can't strongarm the team. The question is, what do you do if you're Yzerman at this point? Make your best deal, or dig in and wait for a better deal?
continue for more on Drouin...
added 4:08pm, Watch some of Yzerman's conference below...
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight’s game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this evening. The team will make no further comment at this time.
added 7:26pm, below, a statement from Drouin's agent...
NHL analyst Elliotte Friedman tells HC at Noon that if Jonathan Drouin was traded to the Montreal Canadiens right now, he’d be expected to be the saviour.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Last year’s 43rd game against the Buffalo Sabres sparked the Wild’s second-half turnaround and surge into the playoffs. In 82 games since Devan Dubnyk’s Jan. 15, 2015 debut, the Wild was 50-21-11 for 111 points, one point fewer than Washington and the Rangers for most in the NHL in that span.
The Wild better hope Tuesday’s 43rd game against the Sabres doesn’t trigger the opposite.
Facing the team with the second-fewest points in the NHL, the Wild spotted the Sabres a three-goal first-period lead and could not complete the uphill climb before falling 3-2 in just the latest disappointing home loss.
“The first period, the game was lost there right away,” center Erik Haula said. “That’s three games in a row now at home, and it’s unacceptable. It’s quite embarrassing.”
Also from Russo,
A week after missing out on Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has his sights set on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, multiple sources say.
The Wild is one of several teams having trade talks with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. Other teams pursuing Drouin, according to league sources, include St. Louis, Anaheim, the Rangers, Islanders, Colorado, Winnipeg, Montreal and New Jersey.
The price for Drouin, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, is considered a young player of similar ilk. From the Wild, the Lightning has asked for defenseman Matt Dumba, sources say, a pending restricted free agent coming out of his entry-level contract.
Below, watch Mike Yeo post-game...
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox:
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking for a young player with a comparable contract in return for Jonathan Drouin, which is why Robby Fabbri's name is making the rounds;
- Kevin Shattenkirk's name is on the market because St. Louis was going to send him to Columbus for Ryan Johansen, and he may still be available as the Blues look to add offense;
- Keith Yandle is probably going to be traded because the Rangers won't re-sign him as a free agent;
- The All-Star Game may include a "quiet meeting" about expansion, but no vote by the Board of Governors;
- Jakub Kindl is on waivers and the Red Wings are cap-crunched due to Johan Franzen's LTIR issue and Kyle Quincey's $4.25 million salary coming back on Monday, and it's 50-50 as to whether Kindl might be claimed;
- Friedman reports that the NHL may change All-Star voting to allow fans to pick captains or issue a list of candidates from which the fans can pick All-Stars;
- Cox states that William Nylander is on a slow but steady return process from a concussion suffered at the World Juniors;
- And Robin Lehner should return to the Buffalo Sabres next week:
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: all-star+game, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, jakub+kindl, johan+franzen, jonathan+drouin, keith+yandle, kevin+shattenkirk, kyle+quincey, new+york+rangers, robin+lehner, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs, william+nylander
Among the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's trade notes:
The Lightning have been shopping winger Drouin since he made his request in November but GM Steve Yzerman isn't going to give him away which is why he's still in the Tampa organization. "He's an incomplete player but he's going to be a good player," said a league executive. "It's tough on a good team trying to break in young players. With a lesser team he may get more ice time but it doesn't happen that way."
Several Eastern Conference teams -- including Montreal, Ottawa, Buffalo, New Jersey and Boston -- have made calls to Yzerman to see what the asking price is for Drouin but those teams aren't getting much in the way of a response from the Tampa camp. That's because Yzerman has no interest whatsoever in trading Drouin to an Eastern opponent and would prefer he heads somewhere West because the Bolts are convinced he'll be a regular in this league. The Ducks, Blues, Flames and Canucks are all looking for help at forward so you have to think they are in on this deal in some way, shape or form.
The asking price is believed to be a similar player or prospect in return -- a top 10 pick or a legitimate top six forward or top four defenceman. The belief is the asking price from the Blues may be 19-year-old centre Robby Fabri and the deal could be even bigger than that. About 15 teams have called but the reality is only five or six have a realistic chance.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Peter Chiarelli is friendly with Steve Yzerman. Chiarelli worked for Yzerman, Team Canada’s general manager, during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The two collaborated on the Brett Connolly trade, one of Chiarelli’s final transactions before he was fired by the Bruins.
It’s a good bet, then, that Yzerman has considered the fallout of Chiarelli’s July 4, 2013, trade of Tyler Seguin when considering the future of Jonathan Drouin.
Trading Seguin may become one of the worst deals in Bruins history. It’s possible that after this season, Joe Morrow will be the only player remaining in Boston from the original trade. Seguin, meanwhile, is on pace to earn a Hall of Fame plaque.
Based on skill, Drouin could end up in the same destination. There are few players who have the speed, quickness, hands, and creativity of the Tampa wing. The 20-year-old has not even come close to reaching his potential.
Yet Drouin, for some reason, already wants out from the organization that drafted him third overall in 2013. The Lightning will be in no hurry to accommodate Drouin’s wish. His age, ceiling, and lack of movement leaguewide indicate a trade will not happen any time soon.
Yzerman has a lot to lose by trading Drouin. Twenty-nine of his rivals know he’s selling low. In 19 games this season, Drouin has two goals and six assists. He has not done much with his opportunity. In 89 career NHL games, Drouin has six goals and 34 assists.
more on Drouin plus numerous other hockey topics...
The Colorado Avalanche may have interest too, via Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Tampa Bay assistant general manager Pat Verbeek was at the Colorado-St. Louis game Wednesday, and that's just one of the reasons it's not outlandish to ponder whether the Avalanche and Roy -- who coached against MacKinnon and Drouin in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was on the losing end of a seven-game QMJHL final in 2013 -- might be looking at trying to acquire Drouin. Also, the Lightning will be in Denver to face the Avalanche Tuesday.
Mike Johnston of Sportsnet with this...
The Lightning have approximately $2 million in cap space to work with, which could potentially complicate things since they’d likely require at least one quality roster player in return for Drouin. It’s believed the Lightning are looking for a right-handed, puck-moving defenceman and/or a forward with a decent amount of term remaining on his contract.
With that in mind, here are seven teams in a position to make a push to acquire Drouin in the near future.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Assuming Drouin is healthy and plays well in his three-in-three AHL sojourn, the best opportunity for Tampa to divest themselves of the unhappy player will occur in the next week. There is legitimate interest in him; the Lightning should get some legitimate offers. Ideally, both parties get what they’re after and move on. They both live happily ever after.
The Lightning won’t give him away just because he’s asked for a trade. They shouldn’t give him away; he could yet turn out to be an elite offensive player. But I would submit the maximum yield on Drouin is likely to be greater in the next week to 10 days than at the trade deadline or in the summer, unless you subscribe to the theory he’ll somehow enhance his trade value in that time because he’s suddenly going to play a lot more and/or a lot better for Tampa in the weeks and months to come than he has in the last year and change.
If so, that would be a rather stunning development.
One way or the other, I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
much more including some possible destinations...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
...a couple hours later at the Crunch's no-frills practice rink in the suburbs I heard all I needed to from Drouin. He had just finished a very optional skate with goalie Adam Wilcox and forward Brian Hart when I approached to ask him if his relationship with Walsh was still on solid footing after the furor of the past couple days.
He scoffed in a manner that suggested it was an absurd question.
"Oh yeah," said Drouin. "We're all good."
So even though the former third overall pick might not be discussing his trade demand with reporters, there's absolutely no reason to believe that he isn't comfortable with the manner in which it is playing out.
When you step back and survey the wider landscape, it's an astonishing fact: This simply doesn't happen in hockey. Or it hasn't, too often, in the nearly 100-year history of the NHL.
But the guess here is we're going to start seeing situations like it more and more.
Athletes, especially younger ones, have grown up with so much of their lives shared in public that it only stands to reason they're going to be more comfortable with everything it entails.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
There will be all kinds of teams willing to take Drouin off Yzerman’s hands; fewer will part with established assets to make a deal happen. Drouin would surely appeal to the Colorado Avalanche, for example. There, he could be reunited with his Halifax Mooseheads junior linemate Nathan MacKinnon, who after an excellent first year and a so-so sophomore season appears to be back on track in his third.
MacKinnon’s pattern is common among young players, even the most precocious. Development is rarely a straight-up progression, but a series of ups and downs that occur until a player gradually settles into NHL life and the night-to-night consistency it demands.
But Colorado, where coach Patrick Roy likes a run-and-gun style, doesn’t have a lot of assets to offer Tampa – the Avalanche would not give up Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene in that sort of a swap....
Yzerman’s hands are essentially tied – if Stamkos leaves, Tampa’s needs will be far different than if he stays. So until Yzerman knows for sure the outcome of that negotiation, Drouin will likely hover in limbo.
Yzerman essentially said as much when commenting on Drouin’s future, noting that his only interest is in doing what’s best for the organization – it’s difficult to imagine any circumstances in which he’s going to pushed into an ill-advised trade just to satisfy an unhappy player. So with the NHL trade market still in a deep freeze, it could be a while before Drouin gets his wish, even if his availability has stirred interest in front offices around the league.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
How do we feel this Jonathan Drouin situation will work out for the Tampa Bay Lightning?
Drouin's recent trade request was a while in the making, but I doubt the fact that it's been made public will force any precipitous move by Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. That's because Yzerman is not going to sell low on the former first-round pick, no matter how public this situation has become.
A trade will only happen when the Lightning feel they can get proper value in return for a player they feel can still be a big-time offensive asset. Drouin's next move is going to be interesting, too. Will he report to the team's AHL affiliate in Syracuse after being reassigned over the weekend? If he doesn't, he's looking at a potential suspension.
The smart move for the kid is to show up and play in the AHL, which should eventually lead to being called back to Tampa. If he wants out, playing as hard as he can and as well as he can, augmenting his value in the process, is the best course of action. But again, don't expect Yzerman forcing a trade here just to appease the player.
A lot is at stake for the Bolts, including the message that the whims of players won't dictate their actions. Coach Jon Cooper will be criticized by many for the way he's handled Drouin, but I'm not sure that's fair. Cooper was hard on Nikita Kucherov a few years ago, limiting Kucherov's role until his defensive game rounded out. Kucherov responded last season and his role increased as a result. That opportunity likely would have been there for Drouin had the kid been more patient. I understand the frustration, and I've met Drouin and know he has a good heart. I just think he could have been a little more patient here. Thoughts?
continue to ESPN for Burnside, Custance and McDonald on Drouin...
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning today issued the following statement from vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman regarding forward Jonathan Drouin:
“We acknowledge, via communication from his agent, Jonathan Drouin’s request to be traded. Moving forward, my sole intention is to act in the best interest of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. In the meantime, Jonathan has been assigned to our American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and we expect him to report for practice with the rest of his teammates this Tuesday morning.”
Drouin was sent to the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL yesterday.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
General manager Steve Yzerman has said Drouin, 20, will get the opportunity to have a larger role, and the left wing appears determined to earn it. Drouin, who put on seven pounds of muscle over the summer, "had a really good jump in his step" Friday, coach Jon Cooper said.
"I'm a big fan of his," Stamkos said. "You can see the work ethic and development last year. It was a struggle, and I can kind of relate to that. The more opportunity you get, the more confidence you get. It looks like he already has made some strides this summer. He's bigger, stronger, faster... He could have a big year."
Drouin, a healthy scratch for 20 of the Lightning's 26 games in the run to the Stanley Cup Final, said he's more prepared and confident, having learned a lot more about the league and its players throughout his rookie season.
"I'm very excited," Drouin said. "I know how to handle a lot of the stuff better, and am definitely more ready."
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
There's no question touted Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin would love to have played more in this postseason.
He's watched most of it from the press box, having played in just four games, the rest as a healthy scratch.
But Drouin, 20, denied Wednesday that there's a rift between him and coach Jon Cooper, claiming their relationship is good. A Toronto Sun story last week described how Cooper normally "avoids talking to or making eye contact with Drouin," and that the coach "seemingly has no faith or belief in" the No. 3 overall pick from 2013.
"We have a good relationship, we talk a lot," Drouin said. "There's not bad blood towards each other. Everything's perfect."
Drouin said he understands the reasons behind Cooper not playing him. Drouin also said Cooper is "easy to talk to," when you want advice, with a good line of communication.
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
“This isn’t a one-year investment. It’s long term with (Jonathan),” Cooper said. “It’s a different game than what he came from in junior. But he’s gotten better and better and better. It’s clear when you watch the games now. There’s more command of the puck. He doesn’t rush plays anymore. He knows he has a little more time.”
“The comfort level is way higher,” Drouin said. “Just confidence-wise, system-wise, I think I’m playing a little bit better.”
“It’s definitely not easy,” Stamkos said. “You’re that go-to guy in junior and you come in here and you’re not necessarily given anything right away. It’s tough to put up the same kind of numbers and have the same kind of expectations.”
On to the second half of Drouin’s first NHL season. He has shown star flashes, that stick work, a move or two that faked defenders out of their skates, some pretty assists to set up goals. There are moments with Drouin when we wonder “How’d he do that?” There are more moments when we ask when he’s going to do more.
Did you remember that Jonathan Drouin doesn’t turn 20 until March?
Everyone wants things to happen right away.
Life doesn’t usually work that way. No matter how fast you skate.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Team Canada will announce its roster for its World Junior camp on Monday.
Whether touted Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin is on it or not, he said he'd prefer to continue playing in the NHL rather than participate in the tournament, which is from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Toronto and Montreal. The camp is from Dec. 7-9, with exhibitions starting Dec. 19.
"To be honest, I'd rather stay here," Drouin said Saturday. "It's one month you're away from the team and a lot of stuff is going to happen. I'd rather be here than play for World Juniors."
via Bob McKenzie tweets today...
Players invited do not include eligible NHLers (Lazar OTT, Duclair NYR, Horvat VAN, Drouin TB, Ekblad FLA, MacKinnon COL, Bennett CGY *inj).
Ekblad and MacKinnon, of course, are not actual considerations. Decisions on other four will be made by NHL clubs no later than Dec. 19.
Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers and Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored last night.
Below, Droun's first NHL goal...
Most of the Calder Trophy forecasts for this year landed on one of Drouin, the Los Angeles Kings’ Tanner Pearson, the Washington Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov or Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau. MacKinnon didn’t get off to the fastest start last year either, but started to roll after about 10 games. You can imagine the same thing happening with Drouin once he settles into a routine. The kid looks good already. In time, he may look great.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Read more on Drouin from Duhatschek.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
It's going to be fascinating to watch Drouin play for the Lightning, simply because he has elite level vision and puck skills that set him apart from, well, just about everybody. He won't like to hear it, but he's also a 19-year-old kid who's a lot better with the puck than without it and the challenge for any underage junior, and his team, is to find a way to embrace (offensive) assets while minimizing (defensive) deficiencies.
The fact the Lightning are a very good NHL team, with the look of a contender in the Eastern Conference, will require even more finesse in their handling of Drouin. Who comes out of the lineup for Drouin? Does he have to play in the top six? Or can he brought along more slowly on the third or fourth line? One suspects it will more likely be the latter.
Steven Stamkos is on fire and playing well with Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat on the top line. Valtteri Filpulla is between Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson on the second line.
The third and fourth lines are more or less interchangeable, depending upon circumstances: Brian Boyle between Brenden Morrow and Brett Connolly; and, rookie Vladislav Namestnikov between Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown.
The Lightning have to find a spot for Drouin somewhere, sometime.
“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen (another year) has made a big difference (for Drouin).
“I think it probably lit a little fire under him. He’s out there to prove a lot of people wrong and that’s a good thing for us. Physically he looks a lot bigger, stronger and his skating looks great, his shot looks great.
“He’s always had the quickness, the smarts and the playmaking ability, so it looks like he has worked extremely hard and that’s a good thing to see from a guy who has always been the best player on his team.’’
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jonathan Drouin. More on Drouin from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
Adam Erne was not suspended for his from-behind hit Friday that caused Jonathan Drouin's head to hit the side glass and might have caused a concussion.
But the idea of one Lightning prospect injuring another in a junior Quebec league game raised an interesting question: Is there a responsibility for players in the same organization — likely future teammates, in fact — to play each other more carefully?
Lightning players, for the most part, said the only responsibility is to play the game clean.
"When the game starts, you have no friends," LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie said Saturday. "You have to finish your hits. But if it's an illegal hit, it doesn't matter who it is, you can't do that."
continued and if you missed the hit, watch it below...
Adam Erne, also a Lightning draft pick, was the player who put the hit on Drouin.
via the tweets of Willy Palov,
Drouin said he had "no clue" the Lightning were considering sending him back to Halifax: “Obviously it was devastating in a way...
You want to make the team as quick as possible. There’s a lot of years in front of me, one year’s not going to change much...
It’s disappointing but I’ve got to move on and help the team win another championship.”
Lightning announced one of the cuts today was Drouin, who will head back to the Halifax Mooseheads.