The 16-year-old left-winger for the Halifax Mooseheads didn’t start his major junior career until Dec. 13 because he decided back in August to stay in midget AAA. But after having a change of heart halfway through the season, the No. 2 overall pick from the 2011 QMJHL draft reported to the Mooseheads and immediately got prime ice time.
“I feel good,” Drouin said. “I feel like I’m getting better all the time and I’m closer to the level I wanted to be at.
“It took me some games to learn the system and to get used to the league but I feel comfortable now.”
A five-foot-10, 175-pound playmaker, Drouin has excellent vision and is deadly on the power play. He is averaging roughly a point per game since joining the Mooseheads and said he feels he can make an even bigger impact when the playoffs start next month.
“The biggest (adjustment) was the skill of the players and the speed,” Drouin said. “You don’t have much time to make plays. I had to learn to take less time to do what I wanted with the puck.”
But I’m used to that now and I’m pretty excited to see what I can do in the playoffs.
His coach also predicts big things for the young player. Dominique Ducharme said Drouin has certain qualities that will make him an elite player in the QMJHL one day
“He’s adapting,” Ducharme said. “Things are better and better every week. He competes hard and you can see that the bigger the game is, and the more the game is on the line, the harder he competes. He wants to be a difference-maker. He’s going to become quite a player.”
Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell also likes what he sees from Drouin. He agreed that it took him some time to get his bearings in a new league but is well on his way to becoming an impact player.
“For a 16-year-old that shows up halfway through the season, there’s such an adjustment there for the speed of the game,” Russell said. “This is what we expected from him. If you miss that adjustment time from the first three and a half months of the season, you’re not going to make that up overnight. I think he’s made terrific strides. … I think he’ll be peaking at playoff time, which should be perfect.”