The second week of August is upon us, the NHL trade market has quieted down and Jonathan Drouin is still a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Despite being the subject of numerous NHL trade rumours since last summer, Drouin hasn’t been moved and he’s looking forward to finally getting a chance to play for Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis on a regular basis. Jonathan Drouin played in just two games after St. Louis was hired on Feb. 9. His last game of the 2021-22 season was on March 21 against the Boston Bruins before eventually being ruled out for the season following surgery on his right wrist on April 9. He finished an injury-riddled season with six goals and 14 assists in just 34 games.
“I didn’t play last year with Martin. Just the way he talks about hockey is impressive. I can’t wait for his practices and to play in games for him,” Drouin told La Presse recently.
Drouin also acknowledged that his surgically repaired wrist will never be what it used to be and he will need to adapt to that going forward.
“Things have to change, my wrist will never come back the way it was,” he pointed out.
What he continues to adapt to and do his best to brush aside are the nagging NHL trade rumours and the haters. He did admit however seeing his name in NHL trade rumours almost every day can be difficult.
“It’s part of the sport we do, but of course there are times that are more difficult than others,” Drouin said of all the criticism and NHL trade rumours constantly surrounding him.
Instead Drouin is focused on becoming a leader for a Canadiens squad that continues to get younger. At 27-years-old, Drouin is now one of the elder statesmen on the roster and he plans to act accordingly.
“In Tampa Bay, I had the help of a lot of veterans. You don’t have to be the most talkative or the loudest to be a good leader,” Drouin said. “If a guy gives you advice on life or on how to improve your game, it’s fun and the young guys are open to learning.”
What Drouin has learned recently is that the future is definitely bright for the Canadiens. After drafting Juraj Slafkovsky first overall at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft last month and making a series of moves, Drouin believes the new hockey ops duo of executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes are on the right path.
“We had an excellent draft this year,” Drouin said. “We picked first, but even a guy like Lane Hutson has a lot of talent. The team made good choices in general.”