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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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60