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Lightning forward Drouin scratched vs. Islanders

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning scratched rookie forward Jonathan Drouin for the game against the New York Islanders on Saturday at Amalie Arena.

Drouin, the third pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, has one goal and seven assists in 12 games this season. He was replaced in the lineup by Cedric Paquette, who has four goals in eight games. Paquette was a healthy scratch for the Lightning in their 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Lightning assistant coach Rick Bowness spoke highly of Paquette after the optional morning skate.

"He's such a quality kid, he's going to be in this League for a long time to come," Bowness said. "He plays hard, he's smart. He's absolutely fearless. He'll fight anybody and he doesn't say a word. He's always ready to work."

Paquette will be on a line with Alex Killorn and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Drouin started the season on a conditioning assignment with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League after a wrist injury forced him to miss training camp. He was called up to join the Lightning on Oct. 19 after two games with the Crunch.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper spoke about Drouin on Thursday and said he was happy with the 19-year-old's progress.

"He's been fine," Cooper said. "He's a better player today than he was when he got in the League and he'll be even better two weeks from now. He's just learning the League and every one on this roster has gone through the same learning process. But they did it in the minors."

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