The Colorado Avalanche placed 29th overall this season. They went into the Draft lottery knowing they would get, at a minimum, a top three pick in the 51st NHL Entry Draft on June 30th in New Jersey. For once this season, the Avalanche got a lucky break and won the draft lottery. As such they will have first choice of which player they want to welcome into the Avalanche family. In this series we will look at a new player each day. Today is about Jonathan Drouin.
Unlike Seth Jones, Drouin doesn't have a ton of size. The left winger is 5'11 and listed at 176 pounds. He currently plays for the Halifax Mooseheads. If Drouin is selected by the Colorado Avalanche it will not be the first time that the Avs draft a left wing from Halifax in the first round. They have previously drafted Alex Tanguay from the Mooseheads.
Drouin has already represented Canada twice in international competition: at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (Under 18), and the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He's also heading into the Draft with a number of awards this year: Michel Brière Memorial Trophy (QMJHL MVP for the 2013 season), Mike Bossy Trophy (QMJHL top professional prospect), Paul Dumont Trophy (QMJHL personality of the year). This past season he only played 49 games, in those games he managed to get 105 points (41 goals, 64 assists). Last month Drouin had a five point night.
Drouin's five-point night including scoring on a penalty shot and also getting the game-winning goal in the third period (not shown). You have to like the certitude he showed while doing the 'skate in all cazh, then deke the goalie' manoeuvre.
He was second in scoring this past season.
Drouin is the Quebec league nominee for CHL player of the year. He was the Q’s regular season and playoff MVP. He also led the league in playoff scoring with 35 points in 17 games after finishing second during the regular season to P.E.I. Rocket forward Ben Duffy, who played in 19 more games.
Jonathan is being compared to Joe Sakic and Martin St-Louis. He has soft hands and can pass incredibly well. NHL Central Scouting Director, Dan Marr, wouldn't be surprised if Drouin made a Club right out of training camp next season. He has the skills, and the maturity (Uh oh, here come the Character Bucks).
"The most important thing I learned at the WJC was maturity," Drouin said. "You look at those guys like Nugent-Hopkins, who plays in the NHL, and I think you see what they do. They're always calm and not running around trying to hit people. They're just playing their game, and that's what I try to bring."
Why does he think he was given an opportunity with Nugent-Hopkins?
"I think I was having a pretty good tournament," Drouin said. "I was cycling the puck down low and doing what they told me to do. I think it was more about the coach just wanting to switch it up, but I was really happy to play with Nuge and Scheifele."
Here is a video of Jonathan Drouin taking on, well, everyone.
Jonathan Drouin Best Shift of the Year (via Halifax Mooseheads)
Here are some highlights.
The Best of Jonathan Drouin [HD] (via sisch713)
Craig MacTavish has described him as "jaw-dropping".
NHL Experts on Jonathan Drouin (via 7johnmoore)
He may be a lot of things, but a power forward he is not.
Far from a power forward, Drouin remains effective down low and along the boards as he is very shifty and able to pivot, and spin himself out of trouble more often than not. This gives Drouin the ability to be effective on the perimeter and in traffic, which is generally a rare quality for a player whose game is based around finesse and skill.
Drouin’s skating, while not the most dynamic aspect of his game, is still notably impressive. He has above average acceleration, excellent top-end speed and his side to side mobility is good. However, Drouin is more of an opportunistic scorer. He relies more on his high hockey IQ that allows him to find soft areas on the ice and puts him in the right place at the right time for scoring opportunities.