Need Some Perspective on Drouin

Jonathan Drouin won't report to Halifax Moosheads this yearWith the news that Mooseheads’ draft pick Jonathan Drouin will not report to the team this year we have to make sure to keep things in perspective.

We’re so used to following professional hockey and the media hype that ensues in this country, we sometimes transfer that to minor hockey as well.

Let’s make sure we’ve got it straight. This is not a paid adult refusing to play for a team. This is a 16-year-old kid that has to choose between leaving his family, friends, and everything he’s known or taking the next step in his hockey development by moving to a city where he doesn’t know anyone and the language and culture are different.

Most of us sit back and remember our minor hockey careers and think how, given this opportunity, we wouldn’t think twice. I don’t think it would be so cut and dry. If at 16, I was given the same choice to move to, say, Shawinigan, I might have second thoughts too. I still might go, but would it be so easy to leave my mom’s cooking, the friends I grew up with, possibly a girlfriend?

Were the Halifax Mooseheads going to win the Q-League Championship and challenge for the Memorial Cup with Drouin in the lineup? No.

While Halifax is expected to be much improved over years past, that really isn’t saying much. They would have to greatly overachieve at every position and probably also have others falter to truly being a Championship contender.

No, what’s more likely is we’ll see an exciting young team that has skill and competes hard each night, but will experience a few bumps a long the way. A realistic oultook might be a team that improves thoughout the year and could be a tough opponent come playoff time.

Would they like to have another talented young player such as Drouin in their line-up? Absolutely, they would. The organization is obviously anxious to continue his development and likely believe they have the best resources to do so.

I tend to agree with that, but there are those that will argue being the big fish in a small pond won’t hurt Drouin’s progression either.

So when voicing your displeasure at not having Drouin in Halifax this year, make sure you make it clear that it’s not an attack on a young hockey player, but just a desire to see the top young talent here. Next year, he will have to chance to make a bigger difference on a contender.

The big question is, would Cam Russell have made the same deal had he known he’d have to wait a year?

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