Colorado Avalanche: Go for Jonathan Drouin Trade

Feb 22, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) controls the puck in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) controls the puck in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche should make a play for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, who has requested a trade from the team that drafted him.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has a lot of potential. He was one of the most exciting players in major juniors when he played for the Halifax Moosehead. In fact, he was integral in getting the Mooseheads a Memorial Cup in 2013.

Drouin was the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft — the same year Nathan MacKinnon went first overall. (In case you’re wondering, Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov went between them.)

The news came out recently that Drouin has requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Colorado Avalanche should throw their hat into the ring of the Jonathan Drouin trade.

Jonathan Drouin Specifics

Drouin is Matt Duchene-sized at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds. Like Nathan MacKinnon, he’s 20 years old.

After the 2013 NHL Draft, Drouin spent another year with the Halifax Mooseheads. In that time he earned 29 goals and 79 assists. He also played in the World Juniors for Canada, earning three goals and six assists in seven games.

Jonathan Drouin spent most of the 2014-15 season with the Lightning. He did ok, earning four goals and a respectable 28 assists in 70 games.

This season has been a strange one for Drouin. He earned a goal and five assists in his first five games of the season, but missed 19 games due to injuries. He’s only had a goal and an assist in his past 14 games.

Drouin in action:

You’ll see that Drouin plays a 200-foot game. He’s a good skater with excellent lower body strength that makes him impossible to knock off the puck. He’s an excellent playmaker who can also score himself.

Jonathan Drouin-Nathan MacKinnon Connection

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is well familiarized with Jonathan Drouin. MacKinnon was another major part of what brought the Memorial Cup to the Halifax Mooseheads. Indeed, the two were linemates and best buddies.

Naturally, we all know that Nathan MacKinnon’s career has taken an entirely different trajectory. He made the Colorado Avalanche straight out of training camp in 2013. During the 2013-14 season, he earned the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and even made a splash in the playoffs.

Last season wasn’t as glorious, of course, as MacKinnon missed the last part of the season with a foot injury. Nonetheless, that was a year that saw him record his first career hat trick.

This season, MacKinnon is still up and down. However, he’s in his third full year as an NHL player, and no one’s questioning he belongs on the team. No one’s questioning he’s a top-six forward on the team. No one’s questioning he’s going to earn a juicy contract, if not this year then after a bridge deal. (He does lead the Colorado Avalanche in scoring with 33 points.)

That’s a radical difference from Drouin, who’s largely the same caliber of player.

This all looks so enchanting because they’re so the same type of player, they were good buddies and linemates, and now there’s this tantalizing idea that they could be reunited on the Colorado Avalanche.

Let’s examine a trade.

Trade Tyson Barrie for Jonathan Drouin

Came out of left field, did that? Or maybe you’re thinking this is the usual “Avs lost a game — let’s overhaul the whole team” type of post.

Or maybe you’re just thinking “Everyone knows the Colorado Avalanche needs one more defenseman, not one less.”

Actually, that last is a valid point. However, let’s look at a couple of facts. First of all, the Colorado Avalanche isn’t performing up to potential. Most people believe a change is needed to shake the team up. The usual suggestions are firing Patrick Roy and trading Matt Duchene, or at least Semyon Varlamov.

However, Tyson Barrie’s name has come up in trade rumors, and with good reasons. He’s due a new contract at the end of the season, and he’s not performing as well as we all expected. Granted, he has 23 points (4 goals, 19 assists) in 35 games. However, Barrie is an offensive defenseman, and he’s been a little short on clutch goals this season.

Nonetheless, a major change in the Avalanche is going to be painful, and it’s going to take a tasty morsel to acquire Drouin. The Colorado Avalanche could get Jonathan Drouin and a first round draft pick for Barrie, or a defensive prospect.

Well,the Colorado Avalanche could trade Mikko Rantanen for Drouin, but I like that less.

If you’re still unconvinced, watch Drouin and MacKinnon in action:

How fantastic would it be to see the duo doing all that in Colorado Avalanche colors?

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What do you think, Avs Nation? Should the Colorado Avalanche make a play in the Jonathan Drouin trade? If so, who should they send over?