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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Jonathan Drouin

Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 9:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Jonathan Drouin
Each weekday leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s fifth pick. Previous Profiles: Max Domi | Aleksander Barkov | Related Links: 2013 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History




At the outset of 2011-12 season, then-16-year-old Jonathan Drouin was lacing up the skates for a midget AAA team in Quebec. Twenty-two games later, he was called up to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. As a 17-year-old, he represented Team Canada in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Now, he is pegged to be a top-three selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.

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This meteoric ascent is not happenstance; Drouin is a high-end prospect with super offensive talent.

“He’s speedy, quick and smart,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ head of amateur scouting. “He’s got a great hockey IQ and great vision of the ice. He’s a very creative guy for a winger.”

A smidge undersized like the previously profiled Max Domi at 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, Drouin is a shifty skater who can make a highlight-reel play out of nothing with wizard-like stick work.

“He’s a tough guy to pin in small spaces,” MacDonald said. “He’s very elusive, and he finds people. He’s got a little bit of Patrick Kane and (Jeff) Skinner in him. He’s a guy that can work off that half-wall and make some things happen. He’s a very good hockey player.”

After being recalled by Halifix midway through the 2011-12 season, Drouin played in 33 games, recording 29 points (7g, 22a). In 17 ensuing playoff games, he erupted for nine goals and 17 assists (26 points), as the Mooseheads bowed out in the QMJHL semifinals.

JONATHAN DROUIN
LEFT WING
HOMETOWN: HUBERDEAU, QUEBEC
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 186
BIRTHDAY: MARCH 27, 1995 (AGE 18)

Drouin broke loose for Halifax in 2012-13, ranking second in the QMJHL with 105 points (41g, 64a) in just 49 games. He led Halifax – which won 58 of 68 regular-season games – in goals, assists and points and was a plus-48. The dominant Halifax squad lost just one game in 17 postseason contests en route to the QMJHL championship; Drouin again was a key factor, notching 35 points (12g, 23a) in 17 games. He then helped Halifax capture its first Memorial Cup in franchise history, scoring a goal and adding a tournament second-best eight assists (9 points).

The Huberdeau, Quebec, native took home three QMJHL awards for his 2012-13 season, including the Michel Briere Trophy as the league’s most valuable player and the Michael Bossy Trophy as the league’s best professional prospect. Additionally, Drouin was crowned the Canadian Hockey League player of the year.

“He played a lot with (Nathan) MacKinnon, and that helps to boost your totals. But he had 105 points, and he wasn’t with MacKinnon all the time,” MacDonald said.

MacKinnon was sidelined with a knee injury in mid-February, and in his 14-game absence, Drouin posted 11 goals and 16 assists (27 points).

“[Drouin is] as responsible for Nate MacKinnon’s success as much as the other way,” MacDonald said. “They work well together, and you’re looking at two guys that are going to fit in.”

In international competition, Drouin competed for his country in the 2013 World Junior Championship, particularly notable since he was a 17-year-old on an under-20 squad stacked with talent during the work stoppage. In Canada’s final preliminary round match-up against Russia, Drouin earned the wing slot on the top line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Scheifele. In six tournament games, Drouin recorded a pair of goals and assists (4 points), as the Canadians fell 6-5 in the bronze medal game.

With the fifth overall pick in the draft, the odds that the Hurricanes land Drouin are quite slim, as it’s highly unlikely he falls out of the first three picks.

“He should be able to jump in and contribute right away,” MacDonald said.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45