Just over two years after captaining the Lions du Lac St-Louis to a bronze medal at the 2011 TELUS Cup, Jonathan Drouin heard his name called at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, selected third overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He was met on stage by Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman, himself an alumnus of Canada’s National Midget Championship. Yzerman played in the tournament, then known as the Air Canada Cup, in 1980 with Nepean.
Drouin is the highest-drafted TELUS Cup alumnus since Sidney Crosby went No. 1 to Pittsburgh in 2005, and is only the seventh to be selected in the top three, joining top picks Crosby, Wendel Clark and Gord Kluzak, second-overall selection Dany Heatley and third choices Denis Savard and Brad Stuart.
Anthony Duclair, a Lac St-Louis teammate of Drouin in 2011, went 80th overall to the New York Rangers, making it four Lions drafted in the last two years – captain Michael Matheson was a first-round pick (23rd overall) by Florida last year, and goaltender François Brassard went to Ottawa in the sixth round (166th overall) in 2012.
In all, six past National Midget Championship participants were drafted in New Jersey, including Frédérik Gauthier, a 2012 silver medallist with Collège Esther-Blondin who joined Drouin as a first-round pick, going 21st to Toronto.
Gauthier’s Collège Esther-Blondin teammate, Laurent Dauphin, was a second-round selection (39th overall) of the Phoenix Coyotes. Dauphin, who was named most valuable player at the 2012 TELUS Cup, made it three straight MVPs chosen in the draft – Slater Koekkoek, the 2010 MVP, was a first-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2012, while 2011 winner Alex Kerfoot was a fifth-rounder by New Jersey last year.
Jonathan Drouin | 3rd overall, Tampa Bay | 2011 – Lac St-Louis
Frédérik Gauthier | 21st overall, Toronto | 2012 – Collège Esther-Blondin
Laurent Dauphin | 39th overall, Phoenix | 2012 – Collège Esther-Blondin
Anthony Duclair | 80th overall, N.Y. Rangers | 2011 – Lac St-Louis
Jackson Houck | 94th overall, Edmonton | 2011 – Vancouver North West
Eric Locke | 189th overall, Buffalo | 2010 – Mississauga