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What is the biggest surprise amongst the Canadian teams at the 1/4 mark in the NHL season?

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Canadiens 1st Overall
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Looking Ahead 2014: Week Nine

November 28, 2014

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Hockey News

Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin adjusting to life in NHL

Tue, 23 Dec 2014 20:42:12 +0000

Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter

Tampa, FL, United States (4E Sports) - Tampa Bay Lightning top rookie pick Jonathan Drouin said he's adjusting to his new life in the NHL, including his limited time on the ice.

As a junior hockey superstar, Drouin was accustomed to long ice time but this season, he was scratched four times, the first coming against the New York Islanders Nov. 15.

"It's the first time I ever got scratched, so it was weird," said Drouin , the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

However, Drouin accepted that as a challenge, saying nothing will come easy.

"It's an adjustment," said Drouin , who has played the past three games on the top line with Steven Stamkos , and will start there Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.

"I'm just learning how the NHL life is a little bit different," Drouin added. "It's way different than junior."

Stamkos went through the exact same growing pains six years ago, when he was an 18-year-old rookie and the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft. He was scratched three times as a rookie in the 2008-09 season, including for the first time in his life on Jan. 9, 2009.

"I can relate," Stamkos said. "It's tough. It takes you a while to be adjusted, but if you can have some veteran guys around it definitely makes it a lot easier."

"When I got scratched he came to me, talked to me and said, 'Just keep working, it happened to me in my rookie year,'" Drouin said of Stamkos . "He gives me tips and has been very helpful."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper is waiting for Drouin to realize that he can do more because he's different and special.

"He has more time than he thinks he has," Cooper said. "His answer will be different next year."

If Drouin doesn't fully adapt by next season, there could be a demotion to the American Hockey League. Drouin is ineligible to play in the AHL this season because he's 19 years old. He might be there now if he was 20 years old.

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