Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin will not skate against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, with the club listing him as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Much has been made about Drouin and his role with the Canadiens, as his arrival from the Tampa Bay Lightning and his subsequent signing of a six-year deal thrust him under the hot Montreal lights almost immediately.
It’s safe to say expectations are high for the 22-year-old and the Habs have put him on the top line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. Torrey Mitchell will replace Drouin in the lineup for now.
Drouin skated Monday morning, so there’s some speculation that an injury took place during the morning skate. It’s also possible that Montreal is exercising an abundance of caution with their player.
Drouin isn’t the only Canadien on the day-to-day list, with David Schlemko and Andrew Shaw on the sidelines as well.
Monday’s game would’ve been the second preseason game for Drouin. He registered an assist last week against the Washington Capitals.
Drouin had 21 goals and 32 assists for a total of 53 points in 73 games last season. He registered a minus-13, with 26 points on the power play and 183 shots on goal. It was certainly a coming out party for the forward.
The Canadiens are banking on more of the same from Drouin and it’s likely that expectations may need some adjustment when the season actually begins.
Drouin is, after all, a local boy from Ste-Agathe. He played midget hockey with the Triple-A Lac St. Louis Lions and has been billed by Serge Savard as the second coming of Jean Béliveau, more or less. And with the club tagging him as the top centre out of the box, the heat is on.
That’s why even this slightest piece of news sets tongues wagging. Drouin’s health and wellbeing will be a fixture of Montreal newspapers and websites for the entire season and this minor slice of information is no different.
Welcome to the Habs, kid.