Drouin ‘earned this callup’, gets top-six chance

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After wanting out of Lightning organization, could Jonathan Drouin play a key role in securing Tampa Bay the home-ice advantage in the playoffs?

His promotion this morning seemed like an improbable outcome back when Drouin was demanding a trade and suspended for refusing to play in the AHL, but times have changed. He’s not only been playing in the minors recently, but excelling at that level with nine goals in his last nine games.

His hard work seems to have turned heads. As Lightning coach Jon Cooper told Tampa Bay Times writer Joe Smith, “Drouin earned this callup.”

As it happens, he’s not only joining the Lightning, but being penciled in for an important role tonight against the New Jersey Devils. He’s set to serve on the second line with Alex Killorn and Vladislav Namestnikov, per Sportsnet. He’ll also get some power-play playing time.

It will be interesting to see if that ultimately leads to him getting meaningfully more ice time than the 14:06 minutes per game he was averaging with Tampa Bay earlier this season. The Lightning could certainly use his scoring touch now more than ever given Steven Stamkosabsence.