The concussion suffered by Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin isn’t expected to keep him out of the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships, according to a Team Canada official.
“I expect that Jonathan at some point, whether that’s in Toronto or Europe, will play,” senior director of hockey operations Scott Salmond said, as per Metro News. “I expect that he’ll be prepared and ready to go by the tournament, for sure.
“But that’s a pretty broad statement without having him evaluated.”
Drouin, the third overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was hurt while playing for QMJHL Halifax last Friday on a hit from Quebec’s Adam Erne — an awkward scenario, given Erne is also a Lightning prospect, taken in the same draft as Drouin (33rd overall).
Erne, who earned a reputation in the preseason by getting suspended three games for a headshot on St. Louis’ Vladimir Sobotka, came under heavy fire for his hit on Drouin:
Erne later said he thought “it was a dive,” and wasn’t suspended, which infuriated Halifax GM Cam Russell.
“Yeah, I am angry,” Russell told Yahoo. “I feel that when I was a kid I was brought up by my parents to be held accountable for my actions. If I broke the rules I was punished and I don’t feel that this punishment was enough.”
Drouin is expected to miss at least a week of QMJHL action while recovering from what the club is calling a “mild” concussion.