When the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to send Jonathan Drouin back to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before the NHL season began, it was a bit of a surprise. Drouin had torched the league last season, but now playing a year older and wiser, he's absolutely laying waste to his competition.
There's no better example of that than what he did against Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Friday night on one incredible shift.
After nearly scoring himself at the beginning of this clip, Drouin had to backcheck all the way down the ice. He helped force a turnover, then started heading back towards the attacking zone. Once Drouin got the puck on his stick, then the magic show started.
He challenged the defense, stickhandled around two defenders, forcing one to fall down, then he calmly threaded a pass to Andrew Ryan on the back door for a simple tap in.
That was the first of nine goals the Mooseheads would score against the Titan in a 9-2 victory. Drouin had a goal and four assists in the game and now has 44 points in just 18 games. Again, that is 44 points in 18 game. That's 2.44 points per game.
He is second in the league in scoring and his 30 assists are just one off the lead in that category despite playing six fewer games than leader Anthony Mantha, who is having a fantastic season himself.
The Lightning wanted to be extra cautious with Drouin's development, but the third overall pick from the 2013 NHL Draft has answered by showing he's on an entirely different level than the rest of his league.
(h/t Matt Cade)