On Friday, Jonathan Drouin’s agent, Allan Walsh, ended speculation that the 21-year-old center still sought a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning, when he announced that Drouin’s trade request had been officially withdrawn.
“he wants to be back in Tampa next yr,” Walsh emailed ESPN. “It’s a tight-knit group…he’s happy being part of it.” https://t.co/fLcMr677Yl
— Steve Lloyd (@TSNSteveLloyd) June 17, 2016
Drouin, 21, had previously made a trade request through Walsh in November 2015. This became public when Walsh made a statement on January 3, 2016, setting off numerous trade rumors and speculation about what the future held for the former 2013 third overall draft pick. On January 20, Drouin was suspended by the Lightning indefinitely for refusing to play for it’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. After the February 29 NHL trade deadline passed, Drouin had not been moved and many outside of the organization wondered what the future held for Drouin and the Lightning.
On March 8, Drouin reported to the Syracuse Crunch and had a noticeable change in his attitude, receiving praise by coaches, teammates and Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman. Drouin was re-called by the Lightning on April 15, scoring the game winner against the New Jersey Devils — a win that clinched home ice advantage for the team in the first round of the 2016 playoffs.
During a deep playoff run by the Lightning, Drouin recorded 5 goals and 9 assists in 17 games before the Lightning were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final by the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.
Drouin has one year left on an entry level contract that expires at the end of the 2016-17 season.