Could Jonathan Drouin Land In Calgary?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Brad Treliving since he’s arrived in Calgary, it’s that he’s not afraid of bold moves. The acquisition and signing of Dougie Hamilton at the 2015 NHL Draft was basically the microphone-drop moment of the proceedings, and allowed the Calgary Flames to add a 22-year-old blueliner to their club without giving up much more than magic beans (draft picks).

Well gang, strap in, because a super-talented 20-year-old player just hit the open market.

Three thoughts come to mind immediately:

  1. Hey, this sounds kinda similar to the Sven Baertschi situation!
  2. Hey, this sounds kind similar to the Dougie Hamilton situation!
  3. Hey, I wonder if Treliving can use his trade wizard powers to land Drouin!


Yeah, somewhat, except that Baertschi was a couple years older than Drouin is now and was a pending restricted free agent. Baertschi’s agent had given indications that he wasn’t going to re-sign in Calgary and was considering heading to Europe – if he had done so, Calgary would’ve retained his rights but his trade value would’ve taken a big hit. Baertschi was also a more established AHL player at that point. At the time of the trade to Vancouver for a second round pick, Baertschi had 28 points in 66 NHL games and 80 points in 109 AHL games.

Compratively, Drouin’s NHL ceiling hasn’t really been established yet given he’s still just 20 years old.


When Hamilton was acquired he, like Baertschi, had used up his entry-level seasons and was 22. Unlike Baertschi, he had spent the entirety of his time in the NHL and had established himself as a very good young defenseman. He had 95 points in 178 NHL games, which is very solid for a young blueliner. Because of what Hamilton would potentially fetch on an offer sheet, that roughly dictated his trade value.

So it’s somewhat similar, but Hamilton was much more established as an NHL commodity than Drouin is right now.


What does Calgary have that Tampa Bay might want, in either the long or short term?

If I’m Steve Yzerman, I start the conversation at a high draft pick, a prospect and a roster player. So for the Flames, that’s some combination of their first or second rounder this year, one of Morgan Klimchuk, Emile Poirier, Brandon Hickey, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington or Markus Granlund, and probably one of Jiri Hudler or Kris Russell. The pick and the prospect hedge your bets a bit in case you don’t re-sign Hudler or Russell for any reason, and allow for a bit of flexibility for the Lightning.

I don’t think the Flames can keep the price low – like Hamilton’s was relative to what the market probably would’ve landed Boston – because Drouin’s trade demands are out there now and the other 29 NHL clubs are probably prepping bids. Personally, I think Treliving can do it and I think there’s a fit for Drouin here going forward, but I think Treliving balks if the trade involves either the first round pick this year or any of the young defensemen that he drafted since becoming general manager.


Drouin won’t come cheap. The Flames will probably have to give up something substantial to land him, and admittedly it’ll probably become a complex deal as Tampa Bay’s cap situation this summer is going to get crazy. But is it worth it to grab another super-talented, albeit small-ish, left winger? Dare we dream of a top six that involves Gaudreau, Monahan, Frolik, Bennett and Drouin?

Sound off in the comments!

  • KACaribou

    Off topic, but Joni Ortio stopped 29 of 30 tonight in a 3-1 win over the baby Oilers. He has a .939 save percentage in the past four games. Getting it together.

  • MontanaMan

    I brought this possibility up yesterday but admitted I haven’t seen Drouin much since the WJC. For most of us to speculate that he’s worth a first or a second and a selection of players, without seeing him the past two years is ridiculous. This is when you put your faith in the pro scouts and hope they’ve watched him enough to form an opinion. I don’t want to be shopping a first and a prospect for another Sven.

  • Kevin R

    Absolute- fringin-ly BT should go after this kid. Before Tampa, the kid had a swagger that I see in Bennett, I can’t imagine Bennett & Drouin not being able to feed off of each others raw talent & pedigree. On every rumour site, Calgary was right in there on the Stamkos sweepstakes. Totally didn’t & still doesn’t make sense to me. But it meant the two teams were talking, kinda interesting parallel to Boston where there were rumours of Calgary discussing Lucic with the Bruins before we landed Dougie. But my Lord, if Stamkos could be in conversations involving the Flames, how could we not be in the thick of Drouin bidding if we(Flames) so desire?

    Yzerman is in a bad spot. He really has no choice but to resign Stamkos or he will get literal peanuts on the dollar. At this point, who is more important to Tampa, Drouin or Stamkos? So if BT is as sharp as he seems to be & want to minimize some of the pound of flesh he is going to have to give up, he has to take some salary back, help Tampa now to get in the playoffs & help them free up cap space to sign Stamkos.

    So, take Carle back & his 2 remaining years after this at 5.5 mill & the prize is Drouin. Send back Russell, Porrier or Klimchuk & a 2nd round if Russell resigns with Tampa or a 2017 1st if he doesn’t. Tampa get a good young forward prospect, a 1st rounder if they can’t get Russell resigned & valuable cap space. Treliv will need to do some pretty heavy duty cap dancing next summer.

    Just love speculating on this stuff, thanks Ryan.

  • Burnward

    From what I have seen at this year’s WJC, I would not part with a first rounder in 2016. The way the 18 year olds are dominating the tournament this year leads me to think this is a strong draft year. In a perfect world, Calgary can make the playoffs in a weak division and still have an early draft pick. Calgary could draft Tkachuck or Nylander which could turn out to be better than Drouin.

    Now if it was a second rounder, select roster players and prospects outside of our Swedish defenders I would be all for it.

    • T&A4Flames

      I keep seeing this ‘make the playoffs in a weak division and still get a high draft pick’ talk.

      This makes no sense. If you make the playoffs your position in the standings no longer determines your draft position. And you aren’t in the lottery. the first 14 picks and lottery advancement possibility goes to the 14 teams who didn’t make the playoffs regardless of where they finish in league wide standings.

      So make the playoffs and you pick no higher than 15th, period.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Drouin has to be coming with at least SOME baggage… however he’s been mishandled the last two years is going to involve some de-programming and re-programming.

    If I’m Treliving I’m not giving up a first round pick for a project when he can pick the kid he wants and work with him from the start. I’m not anti-Drouin but the more I think about it, I am against trading our first.

    • Kevin R

      I would normally agree but something is wrong in Tampa. Stamkos & Drouin should be a pretty serious part of your core & there is a highly likely chance neither of them will be playing in Tampa next fall. St Louis requested out, Stamkos situation is a fiasco that if Yzerman isn’t careful, could paint his legacy as a GM in Tampa as a fail. Look at how people get on this site when they don’t feel Bennett is getting utilized properly, imagine if we were shipping him down to Stockton & sitting him in the press box the way Drouin has. I can see the smoke hurling from an angry mob from Okotoks.

  • Mr.Luv2Poop

    I think a package involving hudler/jones,a B prospect, and/or 2-3rd round draft is the max I’d be comfortable parting with for Drouin. Hudler/Jones gives them more depth for a playoff run in the short term and a prospect and/or pick addresses the future.

    Haven’t heard or seen much of him for too long, don’t think his play has been amazing either. Besides the hype that surrounded Drouin when he was drafted I don’t think yzerman has much to work with to try and pry more assets from teams, but then again teams often overpay. Hope flames look at this carefully.

  • EhPierre

    I don’t understand two things from reading comments on here.

    1) Idk why people think he’s small. He’s 5’11” and weighs 188 pounds. Sure he may not be a type of player that lays big hits but stop making it seem like he’s another JG or Tyler Ennis in terms of size cuz he’s not. Not even close.

    2) We have too many LW so no point in adding another? Uhh, Sure we have an abundance of LW but too bad the only good one we have is JG. If there’s a deal that makes sense for both teams Tre, better pull the trigger cuz Drouin would be a HUGE upgrade on LW for us.

  • EhPierre

    Now as much as I love the idea of having Drouin on our team, which I LOVE cuz watching this guy at juniors was just electrifying each time he had the puck, I much rather have Puljujarvi. Now I know he’s gonna be a top 3 pick but I mean we’re 23 in the league right now, 5 points back from last place. Even if we make the playoffs, we’re gonna still be near the bottom of the standings so we’ll have a good chance of getting a top pick in the lottery draft.

    So if I were to chose between Drouin and the chance of landing Puljujarvi, I rather take the Finnish kid. He brings everything we need. If Tre can get Drouin without offering our first pick by all means Tre isn’t human-he’s a God.

    • Christian Roatis

      I’m with you. I find it difficult to accept another left wing, especially when we have an abundance of them, and there are presently no less then 3 Rw’s in the top 10 of this year’s draft. All three are big bodied and strong.if it was a non-core present player or two (I would accept Hudler, Jones or Colburn, and one of the bottom three defenceman we presently have), and no higher then a 2nd rounder for Droid and Johansson. If that wasn’t acceptable I would pull one player back if it was only Drouin.

  • FlamesFan1489

    Wow, talk about mismanaging your assets. Drouin was the third overall pick by Tampa in 2013, and they even bypassed Seth Jones in order to pick him. Fast forward a couple years later, and his ESP/60 is one of the highest on the team, and yet he still only plays about half as much as guys like Callahan and Killorn. Jon Cooper seems like a smart dude, but his handling of Drouin seems like a massive mistake.

    If I was BT, I’d try to be all over this.

    • EhPierre

      If you’re going to spew stats you need to look at context. Drouin was getting sheltered minutes so his productivity will look high plus he has people like stamkos, Johnson, palat, and kucherov to both help with the offense and cover for any of his defensive struggles. Speaking of defense a lot of Tampa fans have said that the reason cooper isn’t playing him is he’s not learning to play away from the puck. He was given top six minutes early in the season but was still a defensive liability. His game from the Q is clearly not translating since he’s relying too much on dangling out opponents and not enough on doing the small things. The fact that he doesn’t want to report to the AHL clearly shows that he has a big ego that unless BT or Hartley can solve he’ll be exactly the same here in Calgary. Maybe Cooper isn’t handling him correctly but I’m sure he hasn’t given Cooper many reasons to play him.

  • RedMan

    if players are going to keep screwing up the trade market for teams, then teams need some of their own flexibility, like limiting or reducing the amount of salary that is guaranteed. I have a real issue with players doing this.

    So – no thanks for me… prefer a team guy over someone who individual wants outweigh everything else.

    • piscera.infada

      prefer a team guy over someone who individual wants outweigh everything else.

      Team guy? I’m not sure I’ve really noticed anything that says Drouin isn’t a “team guy”. He’s been badly mismanaged by Cooper, and that’s about it.

      That said, I’m not exactly intimate with his situation in Tampa. If there is something of his own doing that was holding him back in the Lightening organization, then that’s on Treliving to find out.

      • flames2015

        “Team guy? I’m not sure I’ve really noticed anything that says Drouin isn’t a “team guy”. He’s been badly mismanaged by Cooper, and that’s about it.”

        Badly mismanaged by Cooper?? You know this for a fact?? How about Drouin’s lack of desire to play a 200 foot game? or he just hasn’t earned a place on the team or more minutes? everyone is guessing…I may have seen one game featuring the TBL this year like the most of us.

        EhPierre says Drouin isn’t that small…well Baertschi was called small and he is also 5’11” and only weighs 10 more now. Baertschi had an attitude problem, Drouin – who knows? Going to your agent and asking to play or trade me is not a way to earn a roster spot. NOPE Drouin not for the Flames!

        • piscera.infada

          Look, I said “I have no intimate knowledge of Drouin’s ‘attitude’ in Tampa”. Perhaps he does have “attitude issues”. I’m just not going to assume he has “attitude issues” because he requested a trade, when the coach refuses to play him in a meaningful role.

          I frankly don’t buy the “200 ft game” argument. I do watch a fair number of Tampa games–because I unfortunately loaded up on Lightening in my fantasy pools this year–and watching Drouin, I’ve never really noticed he’s a liability in his own zone. You used a 3rd overall draft pick on the guy (passing over Jones, Monahan, Nichuskin, Lindholm). He has a greater P/60 than many of their top-sixers, he’s third in ppg scoring of his drafted cohort (behind Monahan and McKinnon). Tyler Johnson has been an absolute disaster this season, but he’s still being given top-6 minutes.

          As I said in my initial post on the issue, where you took one sentence out of context: it’s up to Treliving to decide if Drouin has “attitude issues” that make a trade for him not worth the price. All I can speak to is his potential ceiling vis-a-vis his skill level.

          I’m not vehemently in favour of trading for Drouin. I like his upside and I do think he’d be a great addition for an organization that has very little depth on the wings. That said, I think the price for him will be too high to be palatable–I’m not giving up a first round pick this year, or next year.

        • ville de champignons

          Wait and see if he reports to the AHL that will tell us if he is a “team guy” or not…if he is willing to be suspended without pay then this deal will happen very quickly IMO.

  • Craig

    I would pay big for this kid, including this years first, one of Kylington or Andersson and anyone not named Monahan, Johnny, Bennett, Brodie, Hamilton. I saw him play in Halifax, and he outshone Mackinnon most nights. He’s super creative, and has potentially elite skill. He’s only 20, when he’s 22 he could be a very similar player to JG and I don’t think there’s anyone that would not want another JG on the team.

    It’s a risk, but you need to take risks in this league to build a contender.

    • Burnward

      You need to take “smart” risks in this league to build a contender….IMO you are giving up too much in this early stage of rebuild and would potentially be setting the franchise back…You build through the draft…giving up a 1st and one or two level a prospects is not warranted….

  • RKD

    I think the Flames should definitely try to see if they can land Drouin. Erixon was head case and Baertschi wasn’t really a problem. Baertschi was called out by Burke for not playing a 200 foot game. Barts seems to be doing well in his new environment. I don’t think the Flames should pay an arm or a leg for Drouin, but if they could unload contracts like a Hudler, Russell, Hiller, Wideman, etc. along with a prospect they don’t think will be a regular NHLer then it is worth looking at. He was selected in the same draft class as Monahan and Domi but those guys are in much bigger roles. Drouin basically had to take a back seat to more established NHL players. In his first season he put up 32 points in 70 games, this season he’s put up 8 points in 19 games. He went on an absolute tear during Halifax’s playoff run. Drouin is still very young and seeing him on the top 2 lines instead of Joe Colborne would be exciting.

  • FlamesFan1489

    Nope. For that kind of price I’d say no. We don’t even know if this team is going to be in playoff contention in a month. Then again, I’ve never really been sold on Drouin as an NHL player so I think giving up a 1st plus a prospect for an unknown just doesn’t sit well. If this team takes a dive like earlier in the year, we could be looking at a big Fin on the right side in the upcoming draft. And if not and we do make the playoffs, adding another top 15 pick as we will likely be the lowest point total for a playoff team yet again.

  • EhPierre

    Yes, he’s 20 and most likely has elite skill ceiling but hasn’t show it at this level. Also, after seeing the Flames get bounced around and manhandled by the Ducks and Kings, I’m not sure a sub 200-pounder is going to land on this team anytime soon. Burke’s ‘more beef’ credo looks to be the best way to advance out of the division for the foreseeable future.

  • Plumsrus

    Walk away from this kid. We already have an elite small forward. look at the last two home games. We need size an skill to compete vs the top teams in our division.

    • everton fc

      Bingo. He’s done nothing to prove he’s worth “A high draft pick, a prospect and a roster player.” No way. He’s worth a 2nd round pick and a prospect, or as part of a package deal. Why give the Bolts so much for a guy who scored 4 goals in 70 games? Madness.

      We need help on the right side, not the left. Pass.

      Ryan Johansen would be worth a look, with a guy like Granlund and a pick or prospect going the other way. But he has issues. We need no issues.

  • MontanaMan

    Off topic: Just watched the interview with Ron Wilson leading into the semi finals at the WJC. Is there a bigger POS in the coaching fraternity than Wilson? He says in an interview he “talked to the Canadian coach” (doesn’t even have the class to call him by his name) before the Finnish game. He goes on to say “Canada got what it deserved.” Karma will take care of you Wilson – you will never coach another game in the NHL.