For the majority of the 2018-19 season, consistency was the the word most used to describe Jonathan Drouin ... right after the words “lack of.” Going from kicking off the month of February with nine points in three games to wrapping up the season with seven points in 26 games is probably the reason why.
After a year that was frustrating at times, finding the back of the net just 18 times, who would have thought he would finish the year tied for second in points with Phillip Danault with 53 and third in assists with 35?
August 31, 2018: 2018 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25: #1 Jonathan Drouin
Coming into the Canadiens world, there was a lot of expectations put on Drouin. Even though his debut season didn’t wow us, most thought he was still good enough to land at a near unanimous number one in our annual Top 25 Under 25 poll. That’s not too shabby.
December 5, 2018: Jonathan Drouin is showing just how good he can be
And when he faced the Ottawa Senators in December, he reminded us of why he was voted number one. Douin looked confident and it showed on the ice. He played his best game of the season up to that point, tallying a three-point night (1G, 2A) in the 5-2 victory.
February 2, 2019: For Jonathan Drouin, consistency will come from better offensive habits
All season there was a lack of consistency with Drouin. You would either be cheering that he’s having an awesome game, or wondering if he’s even on the ice because you haven’t heard his name all night. There’s no doubt that he has the talent, but on those off nights it’s proof that he still has work to do if he wants to rise to the top of the NHL like he did in the QMJHL.
February 6, 2019: Jonathan Drouin had one of his best performances versus the Ducks
But like I said, there are times when you can’t help but feel that glimmer of hope that we got what we thought we were getting in Drouin. That glimmer shone bright when he broke out his passing skills and made it a three-assist night against the Anaheim Ducks in February.
Going through the season, battling with the lows and enjoying the highs, Drouin finished the season somewhere in the middle. Can he be a better player? Most will agree that, yes, he has it in him. But even more than that, Drouin needs to up his engagement on a nightly basis and help the team out in more ways than just trying to get on the scoreboard.
One thing that could possibly help Drouin reach his full potential is making a few off-ice changes as well as on-ice. Like, perhaps, a mentor who once donned the bleu-blanc-rouge himself and could offer up a few pointers?
There’s no doubt that Drouin in talented. But finding the perfect spot for him in the lineup is proving to be more challenging than expected. Initially brought in to be the answer to the centre woes, he ended up back on left wing for the 2018-19 season. While his skills and creativity are too good to put on the fourth line, his appearance on the top lines seem to hinder his teammates’ production rather than help it. How long will it take for Drouin to find his role on the team?
Grade Jonathan Drouin’s season
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