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Drouin OK to play Game 4 of QMJHL final

by Mike G. Morreale

Halifax Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell confirmed to on Wednesday that top prospect Jonathan Drouin will be in the lineup Wednesday night when his team faces the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in Game 4 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship series at Henry Leonard Centre in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.

The Mooseheads received a bit of a scare Tuesday when Drouin was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with Drakkar forward Alexandre Ranger six minutes into the second period. According to Willy Palov of The (Halifax) Chronicle Herald, Drouin grabbed his right leg in pain and left for the Halifax dressing room after the collision. No penalty was called on the play.

While Drouin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, did not return for the remainder of the second, he did play in the third of an eventual 3-1 loss, Halifax's first of the postseason. The Mooseheads lead the series 2-1.

"He was good enough to come back and we'll know more [Wednesday]," Halifax coach Dominique Ducharme told Palov. "Right now he's going to have more time with the doctor and we'll know more in the morning when he gets up."

Drouin leads all scorers in the playoffs with 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 15 games. However, he has just one assist in the first three games of the league final as Baie-Comeau has done a good job containing the ultra-talented playmaker. Drouin's teammate, center Nathan MacKinnon, third in playoff scoring with 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists), also has been held in check, with one assist in three games. MacKinnon is ranked No. 2 on Central Scouting's final list.

Drouin had 41 goals, 105 points and a plus-48 rating in 49 games for Halifax in 2012-13. He put together an incredible 29-game point streak from Nov. 30, 2012, to March 15, 2013, totaling 26 goals and 65 points during that span, and was named league MVP and the league's best pro prospect. He also earned a roster spot for Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship and finished with two goals, four points and a plus-4 rating in six games.


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