Jonathan Drouin Makes Sense for Blues

The battle to acquire 2013’s third overall draft pick Jonathan Drouin reportedly now involves as many as a dozen teams, presumably including the St. Louis Blues. The real question, however, is to what extent his presence on the team would actually benefit them overall.

NHL Experience

Drouin is only 20-years-old and has played 89 games in two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. That includes a 32-point effort (4G, 28A) in 70 games during 2014-2015 and eight points (2G, 6A) in 19 games this season. Combined that makes for 40 points in just over one regular season of playing time.

Compared to his fellow 2013 draftees Jonathan Drouin ranks last among the top five picks in both number of games played and points, trailing Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksandar Barkov, and Elias Lindholm. Drouin hasn’t had the opportunity to show what he can really do in the league, which is one of the main reasons he requested a trade out of Tampa Bay earlier this season.

Would the Blues actually benefit from trading away current roster players for a forward that can’t seem to stay in the NHL? Maybe.

He doesn’t consistently get the ice time he probably deserves and he seems to have lost all trust in the Lightning regarding them controlling the future of his still young NHL career. If the Blues were to trade for the young winger they’d have to have a commitment to improving his play while still in the NHL.

Potential Dynamic Duo

Drouin’s talents could certainly complement star forward Vladimir Tarasenko’s abilities if they were to combine for a dynamic duo in St. Louis. Obviously that would require a number of components to come together such as chemistry and a similar style of play under the Blues’ system, but it could be great.

While his scoring abilities haven’t been at the forefront of his NHL career thus far, if Jonathan Drouin were to be traded and become line mates with no. 91 it would seem as if plays like this would frequent St. Louis Blues games.

Tarasenko has been one of the best performers from his draft year that saw players to the likes of Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin join the league. He’s outplayed a number of players picked before him and has been one of the best, if not the best, draft choices the Blues have made in recent history.

His experience going in the first round and really transforming his game to adjust to the speed and skill found in the NHL would undoubtedly help Drouin moving forward. If they found success together they could also provide a rather lethal power play for the Blues and considering how important special teams are in this league that’s saying a lot.

The Trade

The real concern in regards to the trade, however, would be who exactly the Lightning would want for the former first round pick. Obviously they want to move him because he’s publicly expressed his desire to leave the organization, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be in Tampa post trade deadline or that his price has gone down.

St. Louis could try to rid some cap space in players with contracts expiring at the end of this season, but it’s all a matter of whom Tampa Bay would want. David Backes looks to be on the tail end of his career in the Gateway City, but he has a no-trade clause.

Similarly forward Troy Brouwer has a modified no-trade, but it’s uncertain of whether or not the Blues would be willing to give him up seeing that they traded TJ Oshie for him last summer.

The Blues would have to determine that whomever left the organization in the deal was worth the price of Drouin and that may not work out.

Moving Forward

St. Louis could benefit from the addition of Jonathan Drouin to the line-up, but he could also fall short of expectations with the Blues like he did with the Lightning. Ultimately, they’ll have to determine whether or not the risk is worth taking and which players or picks they’d be willing to trade to get him.

What are your thoughts on Jonathan Drouin’s situation? Do you think the Blues should trade for him, or do you think they’d have to trade away too much for something that’s not a sure thing?