One of the bigger moves made this offseason was from the Montreal Canadiens, in acquiring forward Jonathan Drouin. By sending defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Drouin, the Canadiens sent a message. That winning is something that needs to happen soon. They addressed a big need in that trade, by picking up a great offensive talent. After losing star-studded Alexander Radulov to Dallas in free agency, the Canadiens went out and got that offensive boost they so much needed. Bringing in Drouin, addresses a need that the Canadiens have had for quite some time, the need for offence.
You can say what you want about the Canadiens defence and goaltending, which are both much stronger than their offence. Having Carey Price lead the goaltending, as well as Shea Weber being ‘the guy’ on defence, both those aspects of Montreal’s game are secured. The next thing is to build a sustainable offence. Considering that their captain, Max Pacioretty put up one point in six playoff games and for the team to offensively choke like that is not acceptable.
Drouin comes in from a strong offensive team in Tampa Bay. He never ultimately got the chance to shine like the star he was drafted to be. Shortly after Montreal trading for him, they signed him to a six-year, $33 million extension. It shows that they have faith in him. Getting a forward who can play both the wing and at centre, which is another desperate need for Montreal. The ability to win face-offs and have that offensive awareness on the ice is vital.
Last season Drouin had a career-year, putting up 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 73 games.
Bergevin: Drouin to be tried at centre, Galchenyuk on his wing
It was also just announced today that the Canadiens will be trying Drouin at centre, with Alex Galchenyuk on his wing. That deadly one-two punch could be the one that ends up leading the Canadiens this season. So here’s a tip, might want to get a look at or trade for Drouin in fantasy leagues. Because if he ends up on the top line between Pacioretty and Galchenyuk, that is a money line. The Canadiens could really be looking at a steal in Drouin if he can live up to the potential. Can he be the piece that finally wakes up a weak Montreal offence? I guess we just have to wait and see. Only time will tell. But as it stands, it looks like he could be the piece they were missing.
If you remember his days in the QMJHL, Drouin was a monster. For Halifax, in 128 games he put up 77 goals, 165 assists for 242 points. Almost averaging two points per game in the Q, while playing beside Nathan MacKinnon. If Galchenyuk and Pacioretty get their offensive rhythms in tact with Drouin, we could be looking at some monster numbers. After all, the Canadiens have a good defensive core (even after losing Markov) and stellar goaltending. They just need ‘the boys’ to get going and spark the offence.
Like the title of this says, Montreal is Drouin’s time to shine. Whether or not that happens, only time will tell. But he’s from Quebec and he’s where he wants to be. The fans will love him and he will repay them by giving them what they want to see, an offensive show.