A little more than a year ago, Jonathan Drouin was playing AAA Midget hockey in Quebec. Today he is the QMJHL's Pavel Datsyuk, making highlight reel plays almost every game. A couple of weeks ago, he made a Bobby Orr like rush, going coast to coast and either blew by or stick handled through the whole opposing team en route to a goal.
Yesterday, he had one of the most exciting assists I have ever seen. More impressive to me than the multiple dangles he showed off, was when he absolutely dropped the the player who tried to check him just before he dished the puck off. This shows that while his hands are undeniable, he is also very strong on his skates and will not be bothered by the physical aspect of the game.
He has been an unstoppable force since the World Jr's and has taken over the League scoring lead, despite playing 18 or so games less than most players in the scoring race. He currently sits with a whopping 93 points in only 42 games.
With Nathan MacKinnon sidelined the last couple of weeks with injury, Drouin reminds me of Evgeni Malkin when Sidney Crosby got injured. He has put the team on his back and taken his game to another level.
So now the question will be asked, has Drouin perhaps passed MacKinnon and Seth Jones and become the number one prospect for this year's NHL Draft?
I mean, in just the first couple paragraphs of this article I have compared Drouin to Datsyuk, Orr and Malkin- not too shabby.
But it is a hard call. Jones is a defensemen, so in his case, it would depend on which team was picking and what position they need to strengthen the most.
MacKinnon from everything I've seen and read, has been and continues to be "the real deal." Under the microscope for quite some time, he has never failed to satisfy and surpass all expectations, which speaks volume about his character and value as a future superstar.
So here's my maybe "insane" answer to what I would do if I was in the position to pick 1st at the Draft.
If I had the assets to pull it off, I would put together a package and make a strong push to secure the 2nd pick as well.
And with no disrespect to Seth Jones- who is going to be a great NHL defensemen, I would take MacKinnon and Drouin with the first two picks.
You may have to mortgage your team to do it, but if you can start building up with the next Crosby/Malkin or Datsyuk/Zetterberg combination, it would be well worth it.
Only time will tell.
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