Player: Jonathan Drouin
Drafted By: Tampa Bay Lightning (3rd overall)
Position: Left Wing
Final Central Scout Ranking: No. 3 North American skater
Height/Weight: 5’11”, 186 lbs
DOB: March 28, 1995 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: QMJHL, Halifax Mooseheads
Normally when you are the No. 3-ranked skater in North America, you are the best player on your team. This is not so for Drouin, who played alongside Nathan MacKinnon, who just so happens to be the No. 2-ranked skater.
Drouin held his own, however, on one of the most talented teams in the Q this season. He scored 41 goals and tallied 105 points in 49 games this season—a significant step up from the seven goals and 29 points he had last season.
The Ste-Agathe, Quebec native also acquired plenty of postseason experience while playing for Halifax. He scored 21 goals and accrued 61 points in 34 games during two postseason runs in his short junior career.
Full Scouting Report
Don’t believe anyone who tells you Drouin simply looks good because he's played alongside MacKinnon. Scouts rave about his ability to make everyone around him better, even one of the Q’s top prospects.
“Nathan MacKinnon makes players around him better,” writes NHL.com’s David Gregory, “but if you appear to make Nathan MacKinnon better, you’re doing yourself a solid. It’s not as if MacKinnon made him better.”
That’s high praise, and people around the league have taken notice.
It is a combination of great hockey sense and stick-handling that make Drouin one of the most highly regarded prospects in the 2013 class.
“[He] reads and understands the game at a higher level then most players his age,” reads the International Scouting Services NHL draft guide. “He has the ability to beat a defenseman one-on-one and make them look like they were standing still. It looks like at times that the puck is attached to his stick with a string because he can move in any direction with the puck and not lose speed.”
That combination of smarts and creativity not only opens up opportunities for other skaters, but it also sells jerseys to passionate fans on the other side of the Plexiglas.
NHL Player Comparison
Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. The creativity, small stature and ability to bob and weave through a horde of defenders has people thinking Drouin is going to be a lot like the Blackhawks superstar.
A dynamic offensive forward that makes his linemates better and can break opponents' ankles, Drouin’s talents should translate to the NHL level in a hurry. He could be up for a stint in 2013-14 but likely will not see serious time until the 2014-15 season.
Like MacKinnon, Drouin is expected to be a franchise player at the next level. He has family members that are in the 6’1” range, so he may have some growing to do, and even if he does not break the six-foot barrier, his ability to avoid defenders while carrying the puck makes him dangerous whenever defenders give him time and space.