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Lightning send 2013 first-rounder Drouin back to junior

Jonathan Drouin, Kris Versteeg

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) and Florida Panthers right wing Kris Versteeg, rear, skate for the puck in the third period during a preseason NHL hockey game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers defeated the Lightning 5-3. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


Tampa Bay’s 2013 first-round pick won’t be winning the Calder Trophy this year.

The Lightning announced they’re sending third overall pick Jonathan Drouin back to his junior team in Halifax. Just yesterday we shared here how GM Steve Yzerman had a difficult decision on whether to keep their hot prospect or send him back. Clearly the team feels it’s better for his development to head back to the QMJHL.

Some fans may get critical of the move, but it’s one that can work out and the Lightning just need to look across the state for a prime example of that.

Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau didn’t join the Panthers immediately after being drafted in 2011, but he turned his first NHL season last year into a Calder Trophy-winning one. Lightning fans may want to see just what they got for such a bad season last year but they’ll have to be patient.

As for Drouin, the rest of the QMJHL should be terrified to see him back after the numbers he put up last season (41-64-105) in 49 games.

Follow @JoeYerdonPHT