With the NHL Scouting Combine officially complete, the top three prospects, along with the rest of the 2013 class, are eagerly awaiting for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The No. 3 ranked North American skater, 18 year-old Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads, just finished an exhausting season, which included winning the Memorial Cup, a series of international events as well as prospect and playoff games.
In a recent interview at the 2013 NHL Combine, Drouin said, “there is a lot of excitement and anxiousness” building until the draft actually happens June 30th.
Drouin did not compete in any portion of the fitness tests at the combine, however, as his team had just come off a win at the Memorial Cup days prior to Friday's session.
“It was tough not to [compete]," said Drouin. "It’s hard on yourself, you want to prove that you’re able to do that stuff.”
A big proponent of social media, Drouin recently tweeted that he has had so much support from his team and how hard it is to believe his time in the QMJHL could be over.
At the combine he told the media that it was surreal that there is a month left until the actual draft but is excited for the future and what is to come after the draft as well. After the season he had, the talented winger should be excited on what's ahead.
Drouin recorded 105 points in 49 games with the Mooseheads in the 2012-13 regular season and then followed that up with 35 points in 17 games as Halifax won the QMJHL Championship. He was awarded the QMJHL regular season and playoff MVP's while also picking up the CCM Player of the Year given to the best player in the Canadian Hockey League.
He is often compared to fellow Quebec native, right wing Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. His soft hands and quick feet give him the necessary skills on the ice, which allow him to be able to create a play out of nothing.
NHL Director of Central Scouting, Dan Marr, said that “his hockey sense and play making abilities are over the top.”
This past week, Drouin, along with top North American Skaters Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon, signed a deal with Reebok and CCM. He is given CCM’s premium equipment as part of the deal, including the RBZ skate and RBZ Stage 2 stick set, which will launch July 19th. The endorsement deal for Drouin was something he jumped at the chance to do, joining the likes of the Islanders' John Tavares and Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
“It is an honor to be with CCM, they have great products and I have been using them since I’m young,” said Drouin.
One important piece to Drouin’s story is his personality both on and off the ice. Drouin has an outgoing personality, loves to have fun and be a normal teenager aside from being a hockey superstar. His amiable qualities are noticeable in games as a leader of the Mooseheads and a role model to aspiring hockey players.
“You’re not just drafting a player, you’re drafting a person," said Drouin. "That’s what NHL teams are trying to see, what kind of person you are off the ice."
Drouin, obviously, is most excited for the actual draft in Newark, New Jersey at the end of this month when it comes to the draft process. He is more relaxed than one would think as a top prospect. His laidback attitude of “whatever happens, happens” is helping him mentally prepare for the waiting game to end.
Nothing will be for certain where Drouin ends up until draft day, until then Drouin will continue waiting, eager and apprehensive at the same time.