When the Montreal Canadiens acquired Jonathan Drouin he was billed as a 22-year-old star player, and then was shifted to the centre position, which only increased pressure on the young player. Drouin has repeatedly insisted that he thrives on the pressure, and to his credit it doesn’t appear as though it’s getting to him. But those big expectations has led the hype around him to drop off somewhat, with a minority of fans even thinking he’s been a disappointment so far. Certainly, Mikhail Sergachev’s 23-point production in Tampa Bay doesn’t help the optics for the Canadiens, but you have to compensate for how different the two teams are on offence. And though Drouin is on pace for a relatively paltry 48 points this season, I wouldn’t argue he’s been a disappointment. Keep in mind that Drouin is currently scoring on just seven per cent of his shots on goal, down from last season’s 11.5 per cent, and his career average of 9.6 per cent. Drouin isn’t a high-volume shooter, but he does have a great shot, so you should expect more in the future. Drouin also had the misfortune of playing his best hockey this season in October, when the Canadiens couldn’t score to save their lives. Operating as a playmaker primarily, Drouin put sure goals on teammates’ sticks almost twice per game in the first month of the season, with very little to show for it. Since then, Drouin has been a little banged up here and there and his play hasn’t been quite as strong, but overall this season he’s still been an offensive force compared to his peers.
Why the Canadiens’ Jonathan Drouin might find more offence on the wing
Sportsnet | Dec 22