Monday, 6 May 2013

2013 NHL Draft Prospect Report: Jonathan Drouin

Player Bio:

Player Name: Jonathan Drouin
Birth: Marth 7th, 1995
Place of Birth: Ste-Agatha,Quebec
Height: 5'11 Weight: 185 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position:Left Wing/Center
Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Puck Central Draft Ranking: Number 8 (January Rankings)                   
NHL Potential: Top 6 Scoring Forward/All-Star                 
NHL Comparison: Patrick Kane/Simon Gagne

The Scoop:

I'll be the first to admit that I was hard on Jonathan Drouin at the beginning of this season and that he's clearly exceeding my expectations and expectations of most people. Drouin was ranked by most to be a mid or late first rounder and be somewhat of project but after this season many expect him to not only be in the NHL next season but making an impact. Drouin played himself into a top 6 position on a very good Team Canada World Junior team and it became very clear that he was not just relying on his Mooseheads superstar linemate, Nathan MacKinnon, and it may in fact be the other way around. He had a solid WJC tournament and he hasn't slowed down since. Drouin finished the season with 41 goals,64 assists and a total of 104 points in 49 regular season games. This season he has shown that he score goals just as well as he can set them up. Drouin is recorded as being 5'11 but when you see him live that appears to be a very generous 5'11. For a young player of his size he's very strong, weighing in at 185 lbs. Like many players who lack size, he makes up for it with a tremendous amount of skill and an incredible hockey IQ. He see's the game well which allows him to do things other players aren't capable of doing, and if you don't believe me just watch his "Shift of the Year" on YouTube, you won't be disappointed. He's capable of scoring goals because he has such a great shot but seems to look for the pass before shooting but he's also capable of driving the net so goalies should expect anything from this kid. One of my issues on Drouin heading into this season was I thought he would rely too much on Nathan MacKinnon and that would make him look better then he actually is but he has managed to play extremely well when '22' was out of the lineup. Despite his strong play I still question whether he's really as good as this season has shown because besides the handful of games that MacKinnon has been out we've only ever seen him playing with other elite talents. My opinion on Drouin has changed drastically and he has quickly become my top ranked forward in this draft, even higher than MacKinnon, but I still think he could benefit from one more year in the QMJHL and a truly dominate performance at the World Juniors. Drouin draft rankings nowadays seem to be anywhere from number one to number three but I'm not sure where he'll actually be drafted. I think it's likely he'll go in the first three picks but I'm not sure he'll unseat Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon as the first two picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. They've simply proved more in their young careers so far. Regardless of where he goes in the Draft, Drouin is sure to be an impact player in the NHL sooner rather than later.

Strong Points:
• Great Shot and Release
• Strong Skater
• Has Elite Vision
• Elite Level Hands
• Accurate Passer
• Good Character
• Hard To Take Off the Puck
Weak Points:
• Lacks Size
• Has Only Played One Full Season in QMJHL
Interesting Facts:
• He was the 2nd player taken in the 2011 QMJHL Draft, behind linemate Nathan MacKinnon
• He represented Canada at 2013 World Junior Championships as an underager
He won gold with Canada at the 2012 U-18 Ivan Hlinka Trounament this past Summer
• He started the 2011-2012 season in Midget AAA, rather then joining the Mooseheads right away
• This season he was named to the 'First All-Star' team in the QMJHL
• This Season won the 'Michel Briere' Trophy as the QMJHL MVP
• This season he won the 'Mike Bossy' Trophy as the QMJHL top draft prospect
• This season he won the 'Paul Dumont' Trophy as the QMJHL top personality

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