3 Colorado Avalanche players who have surprised this season

Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
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3 Colorado Avalanche players who have stepped up this season: Jonathan Drouin

Jonathan Drouin’s ability to continue to produce at the NHL level was an unknown entity coming into the season. The mercurial winger has been inconsistent during his time in the league, with what seems like a few good seasons, then a few poor ones. The thoughts of Colorado brass (MacFarland and Co.) was to reunite him with former junior teammate Nathan MacKinnon and see if that would ignite him to great heights, and in turn provide much needed offense for the lower lines of the team.

It turns out Drouin has been a pleasant surprise for Colorado this season, providing plenty of secondary scoring to the tune of a career high 56 points over 78 games in the burgundy and blue. Drouin has chipped in 19 goals this season, the second highest total of his career, and his 37 assists this season is also a career high. He’s a plus player this season, +11, for only the second time in his 10 seasons in the NHL. Drouin has added five power play goals and 19 power play points as part of the second unit, which has helped the Avalanche’s power play be efficient for most of the season, currently sixth in the NHL through 81 games.

Coach Bednar has trusted Drouin with ice time, with Jonathan earning his highest average time on ice of his career at over 18 minutes per game (18:13). Drouin has two game-winning goals, and his shooting percentage is 15.1 percent, good for second highest of his career, only behind 2015-16 when he only played 21 games for Tampa Bay.