Montreal Canadiens: Jonathan Drouin’s Tale Of A Last Chance

Dec 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Jonathan Drouin. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Jonathan Drouin. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

As Montreal Canadiens training camp gets underway, this is a chance for some veterans to redeem themselves from what was a nightmare season. Such is the case for Brendan Gallagher, Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and even for newcomer Sean Monahan. But none wants to have a great season more than left-winger Jonathan Drouin.

As if the pressure of being a local product coming into the Montreal market wasn’t enough, injuries have taken their toll on the 27 year-old. Slowed down by not one, but two wrists surgeries, Drouin has only managed to play in 105 regular season’s games in the past three years. To make matters worse, he missed the Canadiens’ Cinderella playoffs’ run of 2021, sidelined to deal with mental health issues.

In spite of what we’re reading at times, all is not negative for the Ste-Agathe, Quebec native. When he was shut down for the season on January 20th, Drouin was tied for second in team points with 20, two behind leader Nick Suzuki. And he had played seven fewer games than the Canadiens’ young center at that time. It is important to note that Drouin only managed two games under new head coach Martin St-Louis, and we know the change that he’s done to the team’s offensive players.

Drouin is happy. He is now a father and in spite of that, he has found ways to sleep at night, something he wasn’t able to do when he took his leave of absence. Stress and anxiety will do strange things to you, to your body. Further, he feels like his wrists are healed and he is looking forward to the upcoming season.

As if having a chance for redemption wasn’t enough, Drouin is playing the final year of a contract carrying a cap hit of $5.5 million. That is the same contract that he signed when he joined the Canadiens in 2017.

But let’s be careful with our expectations. He will never be one to distribute bone-crushing hits, to drive the net a la Josh Anderson, or to be nominated for a Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the game. He won’t be battling for the NHL’s scoring title, nor will he win the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy for the most goals.

So what can we expect from him? We can expect a veteran with a good attitude and a good work ethic. We can expect a forward with good skating abilities whose force is to gain the offensive zone with the puck. We can expect a player with a pass-first mentality, not necessarily a shooter. Expecting a 50-60 points season sounds more than reasonable… if he can stay healthy. And the Canadiens will be happy if he does.

And who knows? Perhaps changing his number from 92 to 27, the number he wore in junior and with the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be good luck? One can only hope.

A Winning Habit
A Winning Habit /

Want your voice heard? Join the A Winning Habit team!

Write for us!

Related Story. Can Sean Monahan Find His Scoring Touch?. light