The Montreal Canadiens acquired Jonathan Drouin six years ago and immediately signed him to a six-year contract worth a total of $33 million.
His time in Montreal would prove to have its ups and downs, but mostly he did not live up to the high expectations that were placed upon him when he was acquired. Drouin had been drafted three years earlier by the Tampa Bay Lightning third overall and they traded him to the Habs for Mikhail Sergachev.
Sergachev has gone on to become a top-four defender, if not a legit top pairing guy, and will be starting the first year of a new eight-year contract that has a cap hit of $8.5 million this season. He is a big, skilled, two-way defenseman who can play a ton of minutes in all situations.
Drouin was drafted as a winger and thrust into a first line center role when he arrived in Montreal. He scored 13 goals and 46 points in his first season with the Canadiens and then matched his career high with 53 points the following season.
The rest of his time was an annual run of frustrating skills overshadowed by injuries and offensive inconsistency. He scored just 17 goals over his final four seasons in Montreal and put up 87 points in that time as he dealt with several disruptions due to injury. Though he averaged nearly half an assist per game, he could not stay healthy or live up to the high expectations placed upon him when he was acquired.
Drouin was a free agent this summer and signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche where he will try to rebuild his hockey career on an $825,000 salary. He has as good a chance there as anywhere as he will likely be given a chance to play alongside Nathan MacKinnon.
Though the Ste-Agathe, Quebec native won’t be playing close to home next season, he hasn’t forgotten about the charities in the area.
Drouin is hosting his annual golf tournament to raise money for the CHUM Foundation in Montreal. Money raised will go towards health care equipment and bringing the best health care possible to the area.
Considering Drouin’s time with the Canadiens did not go as planned, it says a lot about his character that he continues to do charity work in the area before he embarks on his next hockey adventure in Colorado.
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