Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Drouin Worth A Look

By Sean Fitzgerald
Nov 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) checks Chicago Blackhawks center Brad Richards (91) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) checks Chicago Blackhawks center Brad Richards (91) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jonathan Drouin, the third overall pick of the 2013 draft, has requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drouin was sent down to the Syracuse Crunch this past weekend.  Drouin feels that he has not been given a chance to play in Tampa and that his relationship with coach Jon Cooper is strained. This might be the perfect time for the Chicago Blackhawks to swoop in and pick up Drouin.

The Blackhawks would be a great fit for Drouin. The Blackhawks are still in need of some secondary scoring, and Drouin could be used to fill the void left by Brandon Saad. Drouin is a player with top-six potential and is still on his entry-level contract. According to the Hockey News, Drouin is “a talented playmaker with good upside.”

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He is viewed by some as a late bloomer in Juniors. He did not find his scoring touch until his second and third seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. When he did his find touch, he racked up 105 and 108 points in two seasons. Last season with the Lightning, he had 4 goals and 28 assists in 70 games but found himself out of the playoff rotation. When he did play in the playoffs, it was less than 10 minutes a night. The jury is still out on what type of player Drouin is and can be.

Now that the trade request has become public, what would it take from the Blackhawks to get it done?

If I am Tampa GM Steve Yzerman, I am not giving up Drouin without a young top prospect type forward coming back. I would also ask for a draft pick and another third- or fourth-line NHL player. This way the Lightning ensure their future will not destroy their present.

There are two deals I offer up:

Deal one:

-Center Nick Schmaltz, 20th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

-Left wing Ryan Garbutt

-Chicago’s fourth-round pick in 2016

Schmaltz would be the real prize in the trade. He is yet to sign his entry-level contract and has been impressive at this year’s World Junior Championship. Schmaltz had three assists in the USA win over the Czech Republic. He currently plays for the University of North Dakota and has 3 goals and 23 assists this season.

Schmaltz could be dealt because the Blackhawks have organizational depth at the center position. He is currently blocked by Marcus Kruger, Jonathan Toews, Artem Anisimov, Phillip Danault, Vincent Hinostroza and Dennis Rasmussen. Schmaltz is rated the No. 2 prospect by Hockeyfutures.com in the Blackhawks system.

I would love to keep Schamltz out of any deal, but if the Blackhawks really wanted Drouin, I think that is a deal that gets it done.

Deal two:

-Center/winger Marko Dano

-Chicago’s fourth-round pick in 2016

The second deal sends a young, unproven player in Dano for a young, unproven player in Drouin. Dano is currently playing with the Rockford IceHogs. He has only appeared in 13 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, scoring 1 goal and recording 1 assist. His last appearance was on December 2.

Both Dano and Drouin have shown flashes in the NHL, but both seem to be blocked by their team’s coaching staff. Could a change of scenery be just what the doctor ordered for both these players?

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The Blackhawks probably will not be in the bidding for Drouin, but I’d like to see them try. If they are, what do you think gets the deal done? Let us know in the comments section.

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