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Erne discusses WJC opportunity, incident with Drouin

by Mike G. Morreale

MINNEAPOLIS -- There could come a time in the future of forward Adam Erne where he finds himself trading passes with Jonathan Drouin as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Both were chosen by Tampa Bay at the 2013 NHL Draft -- Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads was selected in the first round (No. 3) and Erne of the Quebec Remparts in the second (No. 33). They also were roommates in Tampa Bay during development camp prior to the season.

Until that time arrives, however, they play for different teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and likely will oppose each other at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden.

Erne is taking part in the United States National Junior Team selection camp this week on the campus of the University of Minnesota while Drouin is at Canada's selection camp.

Drouin's participation at the WJC is dependent on his health as he is still recovering from a concussion he sustained after taking a hit from Erne while in a vulnerable position along the boards in the first period of a regular-season game earlier this month.

Erne was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct, and also five minutes for fighting. He said the whole incident was blown out of proportion, but was reluctant to elaborate.

"I sent him a text; we don't talk too much," Erne told "It's kind of in the past now."

Drouin told reporters Sunday he's experienced no post-concussion symptoms for the past three days while riding a stationary bicycle.

Erne, who has 12 goals and 38 points in 30 games for the Remparts, had an exceptional orientation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., over the summer and is expected to maintain that work ethic at the current camp. He could play as a top-six forward on the U.S. team, particularly since he has a knack of making the opposition a tad uncomfortable whenever he takes the ice.

"I'm a little bit of everything; I like to play physical with a mix of skill and grit around the net," Erne said. "I'm playing with two skilled guys at camp [Jack Eichel and Riley Barber on Sunday while the lines were jumbled Monday] so I'll bring a little more of the physical side of the game by playing down low and in front of the net."

Erne is succeeding with a new coach in Quebec this season. His coach in his first two seasons with the Remparts, Patrick Roy, is in his first season with the Colorado Avalanche. Erne said he hasn't been surprised with how much success Roy has had so far.

"Patrick Roy is a winner as a coach and player so he knows what he's doing out there," Erne said. "I learned a lot from him. You need to bring 100 percent to the rink every day. You have to come focused every time when you're on the ice."


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