2013 Draft Prospect Profile #3: Jonathan Drouin
Next up in our 2013 draft prospect profiles is Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads.
Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: March 27, 1995
Place of Birth: Ste-Agathe, Quebec
Ht: 5'-10" Wt: 186lbs
2012-2013 Regular Season Stats:
| 49 || 41 || 64 || 105 ||+48|| 32 |
2012-2013 Playoff Stats:
|17||12|| 23 ||35||+22||14|
As with Nathan MacKinnon, I was able to see a lot of Drouin this season.
It's not a stretch to say that Drouin has the best hands in the league this year. His stickhandling abilities leave you on the edge of your seat, but his best asset, by far, is his vision on the ice. He can find teammates anywhere. At times this season even highly-skilled linemates MacKinnon and Martin Frk were surprised to have the puck on their sticks after a slick pass from Drouin.
He's a playmaking winger first and foremost, and he's most lethal when he's paired with a shooter on his line. He's not a physical player, but he doesn't stay on the perimeter either. He uses his elusiveness to avoid checks, setting up teammates and deking defenders out of their shorts.
He put up huge offensive totals this past season, finishing second in league scoring during the regular season (in 19 fewer games than scoring leader Ben Duffy of the PEI Rocket) but led the QMJHL playoffs in scoring. For his efforts he earned both Regular Season and Playoff MVP Awards.
In addition to dominating the offensive charts in the QMJHL, Drouin was an important member of Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship. This tournament typically features mostly 19 year-old players, but Drouin was a top-line fixture at just 17 years old.
The team that drafts Drouin will get a slightly undersized offensive dynamo with stellar playmaking ability. Sounds a lot like Patrick Kane in his draft year to me.
An agile forward, Drouin is very creative and a good skater. He is an extremely offensive player with fantastic hands and excellent on-ice-vision. Drouin has a good shot but is best used as a playmaker and is very dangerous on powerplay. Drouin is not a large player or an explosive skater, but he is very agile and able to play his way out of tight spots thanks to his hockey sense.
- Matias Strozyk, Elite ProspectsDrouin is special offensive talent, with upside through the roof—a prototypical elite, puck possession forward. Drouin has unique puck skills, with the ability to show consistent offensive creativity. He naturally generated highlight reel scoring chances on a regular basis for the Mooseheads, and his ability to make plays in tight spaces is second to none. What separates Drouin, though, are his hands, and his tremendous ability to think the game. He has elite vision and offensive hockey sense, which allow him to dictate the offense. If defenders try to man him up one-on-one, he will find a way to lose the check. If they double him, he can make incredible passes to set up scoring chances. Although he possesses just good top-gear speed, he is a top-notch skater with a high level of shiftiness to his game. His agility and his puck skills make him a nightmare to check in open ice. That said, Drouin can be a liability when the game turns physical. He is a tad undersized, and his strength level needs to be improved in order to be effective in pro-level board battles. Drouin was given top line duties at the recent World Juniors, which is a rare feat for a Canadian 17-year-old, especially given the availability of talent at that tournament due to the lockout.
While Drouin may be slightly overshadowed by linemate and highly regarded center Nathan MacKinnon in Halifax this season, some scouts wouldn't be surprised if he earned a roster spot on an NHL team next fall.
"If he went to training camp in September and made a team out of training camp, I don't think anyone would be surprised," NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr told NHL.com.
Drouin's remarkable stick skills and soft hands have been the talk of many this season. He's certainly in the running to hear his name among the top-five picks at this year's draft on June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
With these profiles we're still ahead of the range of players expected to be available when Columbus picks at 14th overall, but given the trio of first round picks in the Jackets' pocket, anything is possible, including a trade-up scenario.
The Jackets have a well-documented lack of offensive punch, and Drouin would remedy that overnight. Given the uncertainty surrounding R.J. Umberger, Vinny Prospal's advancing age and a lack of high-end wingers in the prospect pool, adding a talented winger to the organization who would fit a top-six role would be welcome.
From an entertainment point of view, Drouin would be a fan favorite in Columbus. His stickhandling alone is jaw-dropping. Fans will be talking about the moves he puts on defenders for days after the game concludes.
Drouin in Action: