The emergence of Nikita Kucherov as a truly elite forward as well as the solid rookie performance of Brayden Point has slightly decreased the need for Jonathan Drouin in the top six.
According to the team's official Twitter, the Montreal Canadiens have acquired young forward Jonathan Drouin and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2018 from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in exchange for defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second-rounder. Goyens described Drouin as a rink rat, spending "morning, noon and night at the arena".
Drouin, who turned 22 in March, scored 21 goals and 53 points in 73 games for the Lightning this year.
Though led by perennial Norris Trophy contender Viktor Hedman, the Lightning's defense corps was a major weak spot last season and in need of an upgrade. Sergachev isn't eligible to be selected in the draft, meaning that Tampa Bay can protect someone else.
"It's just really surreal", Drouin said at a news conference. He looks very ready to play in the National Hockey League and nearly certainly will next season, but with Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, Jason Garrison and Braydon Coburn already there, Sergachev will not be asked to take on any role he won't be able to handle.
As of right now, the Canadiens traded for a tangible asset and were willing to give up a lot to do so. "I've never seen a guy hate to lose as much as this guy". Hudon got into only three games with Montreal for the second straight season and picked up two assists (also for the second consecutive year). He is credited for overseeing a highly skilled and speedy group of defensemen that helped Nashville make its first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. We think he has a chance to play in all situations in this league. I like that stuff. I've played at the Bell Centre many times as an away guy.
Drouin had a rocky tenure with the Lighting since being the third pick in 2013, asking for a trade in 2015-16 and coming back to play a prominent role this past season in the absence of injured captain Steven Stamkos.
While this deal works well for Tampa it could be the beginning of a long road of change in Montreal while Carey Price sits by the wayside wondering where his best years went. "I've gone over that question many times but I definitely grew as a person". In that case, the deal is just a straight swap of Drouin for Sergachev.
"Obviously there's that pressure of playing in Montreal, everybody knows that, but as a player, I'd rather have that pressure on myself", he said. Watch these guys if you want ideas, ' " Goyens recalled.
Drouin had a well known holdout with the Lightning that may have soured the relationship between the player and organization. They have a lot of good players. "I was kind of frustrated and shocked, but after that it's a new opportunity for me", Sergachev said.
But this remains a very interesting trade from both sides of the ledger, largely because it is loaded with promise and risk for both the Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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