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Jonathan Drouin, No. 3 pick, sent to juniors by Lightning, so hold those Calder votes

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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AP

Our faith has been shaken in EA Sports’ NHL 2013-14 season simulation.

Jonathan Drouin, whom the video game company’s NASA supercomputer predicted would win the Calder Trophy this season, has been sent back to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League by the Tampa Bay Lightning. So the Calder, he will not win.

Can we trust anything from you, EA Sports Supercomputer? Wither the St. Louis Blues as Stanley Cup champions? Or the Edmonton Oilers making the playoffs?

Back to Drouin: The Lightning are obviously willing to take their time with him, and don’t want him as a just a passenger in the NHL. As GM Steve Yzerman told Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, prior to the cut:

“Playing in (junior) leagues, it’s good hockey it really is,’’ Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. “It’s not the end of the world if a player has to go back, but we certainly want to give him every opportunity before making that because it is final.

“Mostly, we want him playing. And if he’s not going to play regular (in the NHL), I want him playing.”

Drouin had an eventful camp, as the Lightning used him extensively at center to see if the No. 3 overall pick could make that transition. Later, he was used on a line with Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis, sparking speculation that Drouin could be a Calder favorite.

But in the end, Yzerman felt the 18-year-old benefitted from another year in Juniors, and that the Lightning benefitted from not burning a year of his rookie deal.

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