At just 18 years old, Jonathan Drouin has already been compared to NHL stars Martin St. Louis and Pavel Datsyuk. Though these comparisons are lofty, the praise is well-deserved.
Drouin was off to a slow start due to injury this year but he had people’s heads turning and mouths dropping all season. Because of his impressive 105 points in the regular season for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, Drouin was named the CHL Player of the Year and the QMJHL’s Most Valuable Player. He carried that momentum into the QMJHL playoffs, where he was awarded the MVP of the postseason for posting 35 points in 17 games.
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Drouin didn’t rack up the awards and accolades without reason. His impeccable vision allows him to find his teammates, including top-three NHL Draft prospect Nathan McKinnon. Without each other, Drouin and McKinnon would not be the players they are headed into June 30. Simply put, they made the other a better player.
At 5-foot-10, size has been the main question surrounding Drouin’s potential. However, he plays bigger than his size, eliminating those doubts from everyone’s minds. When Drouin is on the ice, he puts on a show, making defenders look motionless and goalies look helpless.
Here’s what the International Scouting Services NHL Draft Guide had to say about Drouin:
“One of his biggest attributes is his hockey sense; he reads and understands the game at a level higher then most players his age. He has the ability to beat a defenseman one-on-one and make them look like they were standing still. It looks like at times that the puck is attached to his stick with a string because he can move in any directions with the puck and not lose speed. He possesses an elite shot. He can create plays off his vision and creativity which gives him dangerous options.”
Because of the talent available at this year’s NHL Draft, Drouin could fall down to pick number three—a steal for the team who trades up to get him or selects him in the top five.
If the Blue Jackets trade up to draft him, he could make the roster straight out of training camp and get to work immediately. Fans need think about Chicago's Patrick Kane: flashy, mega-skilled and unafraid of making a mistake. Drouin will undoubtedly become a top line winger who is a constant threat to shoot or make a play, making him a tremendous asset wherever he ends up.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 49 41 64 105 48 32