Lightning takes Jonathan Drouin with No. 3 overall draft pick
The Lightning took left wing Jonathan Drouin with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft after a surprise pick by the Panthers at No. 2 set up an interesting decision for Tampa Bay.
After the Avalanche took Nate MacKinnon at No. 2, Florida took Finnish center Alex Barkov at No. 2. That gave the Lightning a choice between Drouin and defenseman Seth Jones, who many believed, at least ahead of the draft, was the best player available.
Tampa Bay went with Drouin, the MVP of the junior Quebec league who had 41 goals and 105 points in 49 games last season for Halifax and whom Tampa Bay's director of amateur scouting called "as good a play-maker as their is in the draft."
Don Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting said Drouin has "the potential to be a Hall of Fame player."
The pick was not a huge surprise, though it is interesting that Tampa Bay, which still needs organizational depth on the blue line, passed on Jones. The Lightning has not had a defenseman with high-end offensive skills since Dan Boyle was traded in July 2008. Jones at least had the potential to be that.
But the Lightning obviously loved Drouin's offensive skills and certainly had an eye on developing an eventual replacement for Marty St. Louis, who turned 38 this month. Steven Stamkos is probably smiling, too.