Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin requested to be traded in November, but the team is expecting him to be with its American Hockey League affiliate by Tuesday.
Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was assigned to AHL Syracuse on Saturday. He had six points (one goal, five assists) in his first five games this season, but missed 19 games because of injuries and has two points in his past 14 games.
"We acknowledge, via communication from his agent, Jonathan Drouin's request to be traded," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. "Moving forward, my sole intention is to act in the best interest of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. In the meantime, Jonathan has been assigned to our American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, and we expect him to report for practice with the rest of his teammates this Tuesday morning."
Yzerman on Saturday said Drouin's assignment to the AHL was to get him playing time. Drouin will not play against the Toronto Marlies on Sunday and is scheduled to practice Tuesday, the Crunch announced.
"On behalf of Jonathan Drouin, I formally requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning back in November," Drouin's agent, Allan Walsh, said in a statement. "We have not said one word about this untenable situation publicly until today. It's in everyone's best interests that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey. Let's be clear, Jonathan loves playing for the fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well. It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years."
Following his agent's statement Sunday, a return to Tampa Bay may be unlikely should the organization grant Drouin his request to move on and trade him.
Drouin, 20, had four goals and 28 assists in 70 games his rookie season. He did not have a point playing in six of the Lightning's 26 games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.