3 teams that could eye Habs free agent Drouin come July 1st

Published April 20, 2023 at 11:07

Being acquired in exchange for a highly drafted defenceman certainly brings forth hefty expectations.

Now, if that wasn't already enough, Jonathan Drouin was a high pick himself. Drouin was selected third overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, behind two franchise altering centreman - Nathan MacKinnon and Aleksander Barkov.

Drouin, unfortunately has never really lived up to the hype from his glory days in the QMJHL, with the Halifax Mooseheads alongside the aforementioned MacKinnon.

Be it trying to do too much, or not committing to playing hard in all three zones, or under utilizing his shot on the powerplay. Regardless of all that, Drouin managed to muster up a solid season in La Belle Provence given the circumstances and Kent Hughes' very transparent rebuild underway.

So, with that said, might there be some teams with interest in signing the Quebec native to a one-year prove it deal. Perhaps he could fit in a middle six role, with some time on the second powerplay.

Let's dive in to a trio of teams that could help brighten the horizon for Drouin's future.

New York Islanders:

Sure it might seem a little premature, as the Isles are in the midst of a first round battle versus the Carolina Hurricanes. But it should be noted, that aside from the teams top six, they haven't exactly hit on high draft picks at forwards, with Josh Ho-Sang and Kieffer Bellows never panning out, and Beauvillier being shipped off to Vancouver among other pieces, in the deal that landed them Bo Horvat. Drouin could be a nice, cheap addition who could provide some secondary scoring in the lineup.

Pittsburgh Penguins:

The Penguins haven't missed the Stanley Cup playoffs since ‘06, that is until the 2022-23 campaign, and management hasn't taken that lightly. The lackluster season led to the firing of GM Ron Hextall, president of hockey ops Brian Burke and assistant GM Chris Pryor. Surely the new faces that come in to fill those integral roles will have their work set out for them to revamp the Penguins roster. Perhaps bringing in a veteran forward like Drouin, on a one-year deal could provide some scoring depth on their third line, and possibly their second powerplay. Crosby seems to get the best out of his teammates, so why not Drouin?

Chicago Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks are in full rebuild mode, and with Kane departing for the Big Apple, and Toews being informed that he wont be tendered an offer, which will see the long-time captain depart from the Windy City, changes are imminent. If the Hawks are looking to hold onto their picks, and bring in bodies, Drouin could prove to be a worthwhile signing.
April 20   |   107 answers
3 teams that could eye Habs free agent Drouin come July 1st

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