The 2012-13 QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads were a superb team with top prospects Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon leading the charge. They were taken with the third and first overall picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft respectably and that’s where their careers began down different paths.
MacKinnon earned a spot with the Colorado Avalanche and won the Calder Trophy while the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to return Drouin to Halifax. Without MacKinnon to back him up, Drouin was still a dominate presence, scoring 29 goals and 108 points in 46 regular season games. He was even better in the playoffs with 13 goals and 41 points in 16 contests, although it wasn’t enough to save the Mooseheads in the QMJHL semifinals.
“I’m more mature as a person. I think I grew a little bit being one of the older guys on the [junior] team, seeing things you didn’t see when you were 16 or 17,” Drouin said, per the Lightning’s official site. “A lot of things were tough for me. It helped me grow as a person. Not winning was the toughest thing.”
Lightning director of player personal Stacy Roest noted that Drouin’s conditioning was better in 2013-14 and that led to him getting a lot faster.
Now 19 years old, Drouin is in a much better position to make the Lightning and potentially follow in his former linemates’ footsteps by winning the Calder Trophy.
“It’s one of my goals to win the Calder one day. But I also want to go far in the playoffs, which is an even better feeling,” Drouin said.
Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.
The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.
Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.
The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.
A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.
“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”
This story will be updated when more information is made available.
The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.
According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.
The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.
Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.
The veteran winger started last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.
Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.