Drouin able to shine in MacKinnon's shadow

Friday, 06.28.2013 / 6:23 PM | Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- Nathan MacKinnon stands 6-feet tall, but on the hockey rink he casts quite a shadow.

It was big enough to block some from discovering how good Jonathan Drouin, his teammate with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, really is.

Drouin certainly produced worthy of the No. 3 ranking NHL Central Scouting gave him in its final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft. He finished second in the QMJHL with 105 points in 49 games, played for Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, helped Halifax win the QMJHL title, and capped a run to the Memorial Cup championship with five assists in the title game. He was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year.

"He deserves all that [attention]," MacKinnon said Friday. "He's had a heck of a year and definitely helped carry us to the Memorial Cup championship. He's been a great player and a great teammate all year. He definitely deserves all the attention he's getting."

Drouin said he wasn't worried about being pushed into the background by MacKinnon, who had 75 points in 44 games with Halifax, also played on Canada's WJC team and was named Memorial Cup MVP after totaling 13 points in four games.

"Nate is a great player," Drouin said. "It's hard to go over him."

Drouin had the best opportunity to showcase himself during a stretch in late February and early March when MacKinnon missed 11 games with a knee injury. In MacKinnon's absence, Drouin had 10 goals and 16 assists.

However, MacKinnon said Drouin didn't so much raise his game as give people an unobstructed view of his full skill set.

"I think he was always at that top level," MacKinnon said. "He definitely had some more responsibility, he was more the center of attention. Players were paying attention to him a little more. … He had great games when I was out and definitely elevated his game. Not just that little stint, but the whole year he was awesome."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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