The Tampa Bay Lightning had a tough season with former third overall pick Jonathan Drouin.
His season was well-documented in the public spotlight this year, starting with his reassignment to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and following him through a refusal to play and a public demand to be traded out of the team’s system. He sat out a big chunk of the season before returning to the AHL Crunch after the trade deadline, then was called up to the NHL team during their deep – but ultimately unsuccessful – playoff run.
The expectation was that he would still look for a new home via trade during the offseason. After putting up 14 points in 17 playoff games, though – and playing strong, trusted minutes for the Atlantic Division club – it seems that Drouin’s opinion may have changed.
It’s not a huge surprise to see that Drouin was satisfied with how he was used during the playoffs. His 14-point postseason campaign was third only to winger Nikita Kucherov and undrafted center Tyler Johnson, who put up 19 and 17 points respectively, and he was logging 17:02 of ice time during the playoffs as well.
It still comes as a relief, though, to see that the highly-touted forward prospect seems to be satisfied with the way that things are working out for him and the team at this point. There could have still been lingering concerns that relationships between Drouin and the club had been damaged beyond repair, which would have meant losing a valuable asset – seeing that things seem to be improving is definitely a step in the right direction.