Jonathan Drouin's agent confirms trade request
3rd overall pick in 2013 was sent to AHL on Saturday
For months, there has been much talk in Tampa Bay about the possibility of star Lightning forward Steven Stamkos' departure as a free agent this summer, but it's his sometimes linemate that could be on the move first.
Allan Walsh, the agent for 2013 third overall draft pick Jonathan Drouin, went public on Sunday with a standing request for a trade from November.
Many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well. It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years.- Allan Walsh, agent for Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin
"We have not said one word about this untenable situation publicly until today," Walsh said in a statement released to media. "It's in everyone's best interests that Jonathan be allowed to move on and play hockey.
"Let's be clear, Jonathan loves playing for the fans in Tampa, he loves his teammates and many people within the Lightning organization have treated him well. It was his sincere intention to play in Tampa for many years."
However, it's been a rough introduction to the pro ranks for the 20-year-old native of Ste-Agathe, Que.
Drouin spent a third and final season with the Halifax Mooseheads after being drafted to the NHL and last season missed all of training camp with the Lightning due to a fractured finger. He played mostly a fourth-line roll, struggled late in the season and was a healthy scratch for all but six of Tampa's 26 Stanley Cup playoff contests.
I'd say Marc Bergevin is on the phone with Stevie Y just about now eh? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JonathanDrouin?src=hash">#JonathanDrouin</a>—@MurphysLaw74
Drouin returned to lead the Lightning in pre-season scoring last September with four goals and eight points in six games.
At the time, the left-winger said he was "playing with more instinct" and went on to score a goal and six points in the first five contests. Drouin has only played 14 games since after nagging injuries kept him sidelined on three separate occasions, and on Saturday Tampa assigned him to Syracuse of the American Hockey League for more playing time.
"I think he's a tremendous young talent," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told reporters after demoting Drouin, who has two goals, eight points and a plus-2 rating in 19 games this season for the NHL club while averaging 14 minutes seven seconds of ice time.
"We'll bring him back at the appropriate time. I don't have a set date for him to return."
Perhaps that's because Yzerman plans to test the trade waters for the five-foot-11, 188-pound Drouin, who has six goals and 40 points in 89 NHL starts.
The youngster didn't play in Sunday's game against the Marlies in Toronto, with Yzerman stating Drouin would practise with the Crunch on Tuesday.