Reunited, and it feels so gooooood! The move that everyone saw coming has finally happened – Jonathan Drouin has signed with the Colorado Avalanche, and has been reunited with his old Halifax linemate Nathan MacKinnon.
Granted, a lot has changed since those two have played together. MacKinnon has developed into one of the best players in the world, while Drouin has struggled in both Tampa Bay and Montreal, especially in recent years.
It’s only a 1-year deal that will see Drouin make $825,000. That’s almost league minimum, so not a ton of risk here.
Drouin scored just 2 goals last year with the Canadiens, but did rack up 27 assists in 58 games. Will he play on a line with MacKinnon in Colorado? Who knows, but he’ll probably have to play a lot better defensively if he wants a chance there. You’d be stupid not to see if they still have some magic together…right?
I spoke to the folks at Montreal Hockey Now nearly two months ago about Drouin, what went wrong there, and if he could add any value to the Avalanche. You can read about what they had to say here, but here’s a little tidbit.
“He certainly played like a top-9 forward this season when healthy,” D’Amico told me. “Easily the club’s best playmaker and he put up some good points, despite being incredibly unlucky in the goal-scoring department.”
But there’s a lot more to hockey than points, and that’s where Drouin will have to improve to earn ice-time in Colorado.
This is the type of deal I expected the Avalanche to make today. A short-term deal where they take a chance on a talented player for very little money. It remains to be seen if a deal like this works out, but seeing Drouin come to the Avalanche is not exactly a surprise.
We’ll break down this deal a lot more soon, with a deeper dive into Drouin, but it’s a signing that didn’t catch anyone off-guard.