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Top prospect Drouin returns to Halifax lineup

by Mike G. Morreale

Halifax Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin will return to the lineup on Wednesday after sitting out the previous six games with an upper-body injury.

"He's good to go," Halifax general manager Cam Russell told The Chronicle Herald. "It's always a good moment when a player like Jonathan is in your line-up. He's played extremely well for us so far. We're excited to have him back."

Halifax (12-1-0), which ranks first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will play host to the Drummondville Voltigeurs (7-6-0), which is third in the Telus West Division, at Metro Centre.

Drouin, 17, will likely take his usual spot alongside fellow top 2013 draft-eligible center Nathan MacKinnon, who is currently riding a nine-game point-scoring streak (11 goals, 9 assists). The Mooseheads have won 10 straight games, while averaging just over five goals a game.

Drouin and MacKinnon are both ranked as A skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list. Prior to his injury, Drouin had five goals, 15 points and a plus-10 rating in seven games. In addition to the accolades given MacKinnon and Drouin, Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale is rated an A goalie, according to Central Scouting.

"Jo is one of the most skilled players on the team," MacKinnon told "He can do great things with the puck."

In his monthly blog for, MacKinnon wrote how much the team "misses [Drouin] out there."

According to Willy Palov of The Chronicle Herald, Drouin suffered his injury on Oct. 6 in a home game against the Saint John Sea Dogs. During the game, he left the ice favoring his shoulder following a hit from Saint John defenseman Benjamin Hade.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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