The Montreal Canadiens will be without Jonathan Drouin for at least one game. The 24-year-old has suffered a lower-body injury and will miss Saturday night’s game against the Dallas Stars. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels broke the news just prior to the opening puck drop.
Canadiens announce Jonathan Drouin has a lower-body injury
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 16, 2020
Jonathan Drouin Out with Lower-Body Injury
Drouin has had a decent year despite missing a significant number of games in 2019-20. He has played in only 23 games but still has seven goals and 15 points. The injuries are a concern because Drouin has the highest cap hit of any Canadiens skater at $5.5 million through 2022-23. The team would much rather he produce the way he did in 2018-19 when he scored 18 goals and 53 points in 81 games.
The Canadiens originally acquired Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Mikhail Sergachev. The deal has largely worked out for Montreal thanks to Drouin’s’ 114 total points in 181 games compared to 101 in 212 for Sergachev. It doesn’t work to directly compare forwards and defenders but Drouin has justified the transaction. There is plenty of time for Drouin to regain his health status and play through the rest of his contract.
What This Means for the Future
The Canadiens inserted 31-year-old Dale Weise into the lineup due to the injury announcement. The veteran has just one goal and four points in 15 games but he is what was available on short notice. Montreal could promote Ryan Poehling or Jesperi Kotkaniemi depending on how long Drouin will be out of action. Not to mention the Canadiens are still without Shea Weber, who will be out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury. The extent of Drouin’s injury will determine how active the Canadiens will be at the trade deadline.
Montreal is a good team but has struggled with consistency this season. They sit in fifth place behind the Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division. There are just nine days left until the trade deadline. Their next move will become clearer when the full extent of Drouin’s injury is revealed.