Fantasy HockeyJosh Kay

Top Prospect Jonathan Drouin sent down to Halifax

Tampa Bay Lightning first-round pick Jonathan Drouin was sent down to the Halifax Moosecats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today according to Lightning beat reporter Missy Zielinski. The 18-year-old winger was a favorite among Fantasy Hockey writers (including us here at The Fix) to emerge as the left-winger on the first line with super-stars Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.

While fantasy owners who drafted Drouin are obviously disappointed, for the Lightning, it was probably the best thing for the winger’s future since he lacks physical maturity and defensive prowess at this point in time.

Lost in this by fantasy owners, is the fact that while Drouin has been sent down, prospect Tyler Johnson was not. The 23-year-old center has excellent upside as he was named the AHL MVP last season. Johnson put up 65 points in 62 games for the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate) and amassed 68 points in 2011-2012 for the Norfolk Admirals (AHL).  Perhaps most incredible though, was Johnson’s 115 points in 71 games for the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL. Johnson is an excellent sleeper, so excellent that he’s not owned in any 10-team standard leagues on ESPN and also listed as a free agent (which frankly is completely unacceptable). Finally, new Lightning head coach Jon Cooper coached the Lightning’s excellent AHL affiliate last year and therefore has lots of familiarity with Tyler Johnson and the roles and situations he thrives in.

Other Lightning players that could receive a bump in value if they skate with Stamkos and St. Louis include winger Teddy Purcell and center/winger Alex Killorn.

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