Draft Preview: Jonathan Drouin

Jonathan Drouin has been compared repeatedly to Pavel Datsyuk. Can he turn into that sort of player?

Jonathan Drouin

Left Wing, Halifax Mooseheads
5’10″, 185lbs
Born: March 27, 1995 – Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec

Is there a better compliment to a player than to call him Pavel Datsyuk-like?

Roughly the same size as the Detroit playmaker, Jonathan Drouin has found himself repeatedly compared to Datsyuk as he prepares to enter the 2013 NHL Draft.

The second overall pick in the 2011 QMJHL Draft (behind teammate Nathan Mackinnon), Drouin did not even make the leap to major junior until halfway through last season. In 33 games during his first season with the Halifax Mooseheads, Drouin registered a respectable 29 points (7 G – 22 A) and helped Halifax to one of their best seasons in quite some time. In a sign of things to come, he increased his scoring to over a point per game pace during the playoffs, gathering 26 points (9 G – 17 A) in 17 games.

Playing in his first full QMJHL season this year, Drouin turned it on. In 49 games – he missed a few due to injury and for participating in the World Junior Championship – Drouin scored an astounding 105 points (41 G – 64 A). With his remarkable season placing him firmly in the talk for the 2013 NHL Draft, Drouin took home not only the QMJHL MVP award, but was also named the Player of the Year for the entire Canadian Hockey League, becoming the first QMJHL player to take home the award since Alexander Radulov won it in 2006. Drouin, however, was not done, helping the Mooseheads to their first ever QMJHL title while scoring 35 points (12 G – 23 A) in 17 games, earning the QMJHL playoff MVP award. Finally, the Mooseheads took home their first ever Memorial Cup, with Drouin registering 9 points (1 G – 8 A) in the 4 game tournament. When the dust cleared, Drouin had scored 149 points (54 G – 95 A) in just 71 games in his first full major junior season.

Jonathan Drouin is largely regarded as the 3rd-best prospect in this year’s fairly deep draft class, although The Hockey News did rank him 2nd. The International Scouting Service rates Drouin as “Excellent” in puck skills, competitiveness and hockey sense. The ISS also declares Drouin the top playmaker and puck handler of the 2013 draft class. According to the ISS, “It looks like at times that the puck is attached to his stick with a string because he can move in any directions with the puck and not lose speed.”

The main concern with Drouin is his size. At 5’10″ and 185 pounds, Drouin is listed as just 1 inch shorter and 5 pounds lighter than Pavel Datsyuk, but there are still questions about the amount of strength he is able to bring to the table. Future Considerations states, “there is the potential that he’ll get pushed around like a chew toy when playing against men.”

However, as mentioned in numerous comparisons – and even included in the ISS’s official scouting report – if Drouin is a Pavel Datsyuk-like player, he will be able to turn into…well…a very dangerous, Pavel Datsyuk-like player.

Service Rank
NHL Central Scouting 3rd (North American)
ISS 3rd
The Hockey News 2nd
Future Considerations 3rd
McKeen’s Hockey 3rd

For all 2013 NHL Draft Coverage, click here.

Photo Credit: Halifax Mooseheads

Tags: , , , , , ,

A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.