Drouin Shines in AHL Debut, Yzerman Wants Him in West

Less surprising than the announcement of another Spider-Man movie, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman would prefer to trade Jonathan Drouin to the Western Conference if possible.

With Drouin’s trade request going public last weekend, he’s become the source of a lot of speculation and interest. But Dreger says that Yzerman “is in no rush to trade Drouin.”

Yzerman’s desire to put Drouin in the West won’t cut Eastern Conference teams out of the picture, but it does means that the price is likely to be steeper for teams in the East.

Drouin made his season debut with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL on Friday, scoring two goals in the first period, including the beauty below.

It was reported by those in attendance that there were scouts from as many as 16 teams taking in the action. Dreger projected that in his piece, adding that “some NHL general managers want to see him play injury-free for an extended period of time before making their best offer.”

That seems like a legitimate concern, since Bolts Prospects noted that he slowed as the game went on,looking tired in the third. It was just his second game since coming back from injury.

He finished the night with two goals and a team-leading five shots.

With reports indicating that at least half the league is interested in Drouin, Dreger zoned in on the Blues, saying, “speculation suggests the St Louis Blues are among the most interested.” He also mentions the Pittsburgh Penguins and earlier reports have pointed to the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers as teams with a keen interest in Drouin. We’ll no doubt hear about more teams sending over offers as the situation drags toward the trade deadline.

Drouin will be back on the ice Saturday when the Crunch take on the Hersey Bears at 7pm ET.

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