Jonathan Drouin walks into this year in an enviable position - one of several elite threats on a star studded CHL contender. His Halifax Mooseheads roster possesses names such as Nathan Mackinnon, Zach Fucale, Martin Frk, Konrad Abeltshauser and Brent Andrews, all of whom have been drafted or are high on NHL draft radars. With such a star studded roster, it is not difficult to overlook the talented Jonathan Drouin. Drouin is an outstanding player in his own right, and will get the spotlight he deserves this season as NHL scouts will schedule plenty of trips to Halifax this winter.
The Scouting Report’s #12 Preliminary prospect was the subject of big attention early last season when, after being selected 2nd overall by the Mooseheads, Drouin chose to stay in Lac St.-Louis and did not report to the Mooseheads training camp. Drouin dominated the Midget AAA league with 53 points in 22 games until Christmas, when GM Cam Russell and Drouins camp finally agreed the time was right to come to the QMJHL. When he arrived, he instantly made his presence felt as a playmaker, putting up 7 goals and 22 assists in 33 games for the Mooseheads, but when the playoffs rolled around – Drouins as advertised competitive nature shined through as he put up 9 goals and 17 assists in 17 games in Halifax’s playoff run. Drouin scored the series winning goal in overtime to complete the Mooseheads comeback against Quebec, and had some highlight reel goals such as this one in game 6 of the Quebec series:
I had the pleasure to sit down with the Mooseheads winger and last weeks CHL player of the week after yesterdays game against Acadie Bathurst, and we discussed several topics related to his draft year.
So Jonathan, after an exciting playoffs, you ended up having a fairly short summer - Walk us fans through your off-season.
JD – Well I took two weeks off to recuperate after the playoff run, then went to Toronto for 6 weeks with Anthony Duclair to train. I trained with some teammates in Montreal for a while, then I went to train in Minnesota for 2 weeks. I had a great great time at Ivan Hlinka, wearing the sweater and winning gold was a great experience for me I won’t forget it anytime soon.
What are expectations like in the locker room for the Mooseheads early this year?
JD - We have a great team, but we’re taking it one game and one team at a time, we can’t win the Memorial Cup overnight so we plan to stay focused on the present.
What are your expectations headed into this year for you – and what are you looking to improve upon leading up into the NHL draft?
JD – To be honest I have no expectations, it’s 100 percent about the team and helping us win through whatever is needed of me, and that’s what I’m focused on from here until the draft.
Last question – Tell us something that no one knows about Jonathan Drouin outside of the rink.
JD – Well, I actually like to cook.
I guess we can assume Drouin dishes out sauce both on and off the ice.