Are The Bolts Shopping Jonathan Drouin? Should They Be?

New York Post writer Larry Brooks believes that Tampa Bay Lightning breakout star forward Jonathan Drouin is being shopped in exchange for a  top four defenseman.

In yesterday’s Post’s Slap Shots column this is what Brooks wrote:

Several well-connected sources report Tampa Bay will use Jonathan Drouin as the bait to attract a top-four defenseman, with Anaheim shaping up as the most likely trade partner.

And over a summer in which at least a half-dozen top-end clubs will be seeking a top-four, Drouin’s availability likely gives the Lightning the pick of the crop.

Brooks believes that Anaheim is the most likely trade partner.

Drouin is coming off his best season as a pro, scoring 21 goals and dishing out 32 assists, totaling 53 points.

Are The Bolts Shopping Jonathan Drouin? Should They Be?

The Lightning have a stable of quality forwards when everyone is healthy, but need a stud defender to go with Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman. If a move is made, it probably will happen prior to the expansion draft.

The Bolts have Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Brayden Point, Vladislav Namestnikov and Drouin already. It is a logical solution to move Drouin to be able to protect a different player as Point is the only exempt forward from the expansion draft.

The Ducks have a bevy of solid veteran defensemen; Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, Josh Manson and Kevin Bieksa. They also boast two young up-and-comers, Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour.

Brooks states that there is as many as six teams looking to make a deal with Anaheim. Certainly the Lightning jump to the head-of-the-class if they include the talented Drouin in any deal.

Are The Bolts Shopping Jonathan Drouin? Should They Be?

Should the Lightning trade Jonathan Drouin?

Bob McKenzie thinks it is a possibility. After all, there was a trade in place bringing defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to Tampa Bay for Drouin.

Here is McKenzie’s Bobcast discussing the trade of Drouin:

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Our Steven DiOssi writes:

Where things get interesting, though, is when you consider what his value may be to other teams. The Lightning are in desperate need of a top-4 defenseman and Drouin may be the sort of player it takes to land one. Yzerman certainly sees the value in Drouin. Why do you think he wasn’t willing to ship him out of town in 2015-16 to the highest bidder at the trade deadline? A player with Drouin’s offensive skill is a tough find but it also means it will come at a price for the Lightning if they opt to keep him.

The other possible trade bait that could bring a top four blueliner is Tyler Johnson. The emergence of Brayden Point makes it feasible that Johnson could be moved. Johnson is not nearly as desirable as Drouin, who still may be thought of as a generational player in the making.

As a general manager, I would do everything in my power to keep Jonathan Drouin and trade Tyler Johnson, if he can bring a solid top four defenseman. We have seen Johnson’s best but the sky’s the limit for the 22 year old Drouin. He is a potential 30-40 goal scorer, 100 point superstar that added to a roster including a healthy Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov makes the Tampa Bay Lightning as dangerous as ANY team in the NHL.

What are your thoughts puckheads?

(Photos/Christine Gunn)

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