Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin could start the season on injured reserve.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Drouin skated on his own Saturday, but did not participate in the morning skate group.
Tampa Bay plays its’ final preseason game tonight against the Florida Panthers.
Drouin, Smith reports, sill needs follow-up x-rays on his fractured right thumb.
The good news is Drouin hasn’t had any setbacks with the injury, but Smith says that GM Steve Yzerman could see the 19-year-old start the season on IR.
If Drouin starts the season on IR, he could participate in American Hockey League games with the Syracuse Crunch on a rehab assignment prior to making his NHL debut.
Drouin, the Lightning’s first-round selection (3rd overall in 2013), is coming off his final year with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he scored 29 goals and 108 points in 46 games.