Jonathan Drouin releases statement thanking Lightning franchise

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 3: Tampa Bay Lightning Right Wing Jonathan Drouin (27) skates with the puck during the first period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire

Winger Jonathan Drouin was traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. He then promptly signed a six-year contract that will pay him $33 million and allow him to remain in his home country of Canada.

Upon the completion of the deal, Drouin released a statement on Sunday that read:

“Crazy few days but I would like to thank the Lightning organization for everything they’ve done to help me become a better hockey player. Also I want to thank my teammates for being great to me. A very special thank you to the incredible Lightning fans who made everyday playing in Tampa special.”

Drouin had been a member of the Tampa Bay organization since they selected him third overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He quickly debuted in the pros with the team as a 19-year-old in 2014-15, playing in 70 games.

Last season was his best year as a member of the Lightning, scoring a career-high 21 goals and adding assists on 32 others over the 73 games he played in.

His breakout came during the playoffs last season when he netted five goals and nine assists in 17 games for the Lightning during their postseason run.

Tampa Bay received defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Drouin.

The Canadiens are coming off having won the Atlantic division crown this past year, finishing as the lone team with more than 100 points. But despite their regular season success, their season ended with a first round exit from the playoffs at the hands of the New York Rangers.

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