Montreal Canadiens: Jonathan Drouin Deserves One Last Chance

Jonathan Drouin (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Jonathan Drouin (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Why Drouin can be much better

So why does Drouin deserve another chance? A part of it is just what else are you going to do with him? The Canadiens are not going to get anything for Drouin if he is traded away in the offseason, and I don’t see a big enough point to buy out his contract.

Because Drouin only has one year left on his contract, and I think it will be hard to see Drouin back in a Canadiens uniform after next year. But it is possible that he could return with a fantastic year and convince Kent Hughes that he could be a decent skilled depth option.

Part of the equation is Martin St. Louis. If you look at the tenures of Martin St. Louis and Dominique Ducharme, one thing is clear. The team is 100 times better under St. Louis, and it comes down to the skilled offensive players clicking.

I don’t need to describe the turnaround Cole Caufield has had under St. Louis, that has been well documented. But every offensive player has had a significant uptick under St. Louis. Unfortunately, Drouin has been injured and we don’t fully know what St. Louis’ impact on Drouin.

If St. Louis does not return, who knows who will be the head coach next year, and it will depend on who is at the helm and if they will have an impact on Drouin’s game.

This year has been another cut short disappointment for Drouin with 6 goals and 20 points in 34 games. Of course, those numbers aren’t necessarily eye-catching, but they might not be as bad as first thought. Over a full 82 game season, Drouin would have about 14.5 goals and just over 48 points.

It depends on your expectations of Drouin, and certainly they are not where they were when he was initially traded for, but those aren’t terrible numbers. Maybe for a $5.5 million player it isn’t great, but almost 50 points in a season is nothing to sneeze at.

In an admittedly very short showing in 2019-20, Drouin was on a 21 goal, 45 point pace. Once again, to me, that isn’t the worst thing in the world. The only problem is that Drouin would have to do something he hasn’t done since entering the NHL. Play an 82 game season.

Especially if St. Louis remains the Montreal Canadiens head coach, it will be extremely interesting to see how Drouin responds to the new season, and if he can return healthy. The odds are stacked against him next year, but we all saw what the odds meant last year in the playoffs.

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