The Tampa Bay Lightning traded winger Cory Conacher last season for goaltender Ben Bishop. The team cut ties with franchise fixture Vincent Lecavalier and replaced him with a much less productive player, free agent forward Valtteri Filppula.
So this group needs to find more scoring. That is why the Lightning passed on elite defensive prospect Seth Jones to draft winger Jonathan Drouin, who has the skill and poise could step right onto a NHL scoring line as an 18-year-old.
The Lightning still has serious salary cap concerns, so the team won’t be adding more offensive talent up front. The door for Drouin is open.
“Whether he makes the team or not will be dependent on training camp and exhibition games, and it's not going to hurt any young player to go back and play in Europe or junior or back to college and dominate there for another year,” Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray told the Tampa Tribune. “But if he is ready, he'll show that and get the opportunity.”
Drouin will prepare for training camp by participating in the Canadian World Junior team camp before coming back to Tampa for rookie camp. Between now and then he will spend lots of time in the weight room trying to add the necessary strength.