Saturday Daily Puck: Drooling Over Drouin
Saturday Daily Puck: Drooling Over Drouin

This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.

Around the Rink

He's arrived folks, and he hasn't disappointed.

Jonathan Drouin scored his first NHL goal Friday against the Jets, taking a pass from Nikita Kucherov behind the net and beating Ondrej Pavelec with a one-timer from the slot. After going scoreless in his NHL debut, Drouin has put up three points in his last two games, to go with a plus-1 rating.

The fact he is skating on a line with Steven Stamkos simply isn't fair. The immediate chemistry was on display Friday, when Drouin and Stamkos broke in on a 2-on-1 rush in the first period. Drouin got the puck to Stamkos, who skated a few strides before dishing the puck back to the 19-year-old. Drouin took the puck to his backhand, before threading it back to Stamkos, who buried it for the game's opening goal.

The eccentric early chemistry between the two youngsters has many wondering just how dangerous they can become this season. Drouin, an early Calder Trophy favorite, is a prolific scorer who possesses a superior skill-set. In his last two seasons with Halifax of the QMJHL, Drouin amassed 70 goals and 213 points in just 95 games. Playing with Stamkos both at even strength and on the power play, it is very possible Drouin breaks the 60-point barrier this season. You really can't put a ceiling on what he can do.

With the addition of Drouin, the Bolts really do look like top contenders in the East. Backed by the phenomenal goaltending of Ben Bishop, Drouin adds to a potent offense already consisting of Stamkos, Kucherov, Valtteri Filppula, Ryan Callahan, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat among others. Once Victor Hedman returns from his hand injury, the 19-year-old Drouin will have another elite player to line up with on the power play. There is no way Drouin doesn't put up big numbers with an offensively loaded Lightning team. Get ready fans, its Drouin time in Tampa Bay.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

Sabres (Jhonas Enroth) at Sharks (Alex Stalock*), 4:00
Bruins (Tuukka Rask) at Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:00
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Canadiens (Carey Price*), 7:00
Devils (Cory Schneider) at Senators (Craig Anderson), 10:00
Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Islanders (Jarolsav Halak), 7:00
Red Wings (Jonas Gustavsson*) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 7:00
Blackhawks (Antti Raanta) at Blues (Brian Elliott*), 8:00
Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Predators (Pekka Rinne), 8:00
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Wild (Darcy Kuemper), 8:00
Panthers (Roberto Luongo*) at Coyotes (Mike Smith), 9:00
Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Flames (Karri Ramo*), 10:00

*Confirmed Starters

For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.

Injury News For Teams Playing Saturday

Coyotes
Martin Hanzal, C (lower body) –Won't play Saturday.
David Moss, RW (upper body) – Will be further evaluated Saturday.

Bruins
Zdeno Chara, D (knee) – Placed on Injured Reserve Friday, will miss 4-6 weeks.
Kevan Miller, D (shoulder) – Is progressing, but still out indefinitely.

Sabres
Patrick Kaleta, RW (facial surgery) – Practicing, but isn't ready for game action.
Matt Hackett, G (knee) – Is still on IR.

Flames
David Jones, RW (lower body) – Is on IR.
Corey Potter, D (shoulder) – Is still out.
Sam Bennett, LW (shoulder) – Underwent surgery and will miss significant time.

Blackhawks
Corey Crawford, G (upper body) – Will not join the team for upcoming road trip.

Stars
Rich Peverley, C (heart) – Out indefinitely.
Patrik Nemeth, D (arm) – Out for the season.
Valeri Nichushkin, LW (groin) – Will not play.
Sergei Gonchar, D (ankle) – Will not play.

Red Wings
Johan Franzen, RW (lower body) – Won't return from injured reserve when eligible Saturday.

Panthers
Dave Bolland, C (lower body) – Will not return to action Saturday against the Coyotes.
Wild
Keith Ballard, D (illness) – Will remain out of the lineup Saturday against the Lightning.
Christian Folin, D (illness) – Will remain out of the lineup Saturday against the Lightning.

Predators
Matt Cullen, C (lower body) – Is close to a return.
Mike Fisher, C (Achilles) – Returned to practice on Tuesday, but doesn't appear to be ready for game action.

Devils
Martin Havlat, RW (face) – Doubtful; day-to-day.
Jordin Tootoo, RW (foot) – Will not play Saturday.

Islanders
Travis Hamonic, D, (upper body) – Will almost certainly not play in Saturday's game against the Stars.
Mikhail Grabovski, C (upper body) – Felt good while practicing Friday and could play Saturday against the Stars.
Michael Grabner, RW (sports hernia) – Could start skating again next week.
Josh Bailey, LW (hand) – Will be out for weeks.

Rangers
Derek Stepan, C (fibula) – Remains on Injured Reserve.
Dan Boyle, D (hand) – Remains on Injured Reserve.

Senators
Marc Methot, D (back) – Remains on Injured Reserve.

Flyers
Braydon Coburn, D (lower body) – Was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Vincent Lecavalier, C (lower body) – Was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Zac Rinaldo, LW (upper body) – Has been ruled out of Saturday's game against the Red Wings.
Andrew MacDonald, D (lower body) – Will be out four weeks.

Penguins
Beau Bennett, RW (leg) – Is still on IR.

Sharks
Tyler Kennedy, LW (upper body) – Could be activated from Injured Reserve in advance of Saturday's game against the Sabres.
Raffi Torres, LW (knee) – Won't undergo surgery, but remains out long-term.
Mike Brown, RW (hand) – Is on IR.

Blues
Paul Stastny, C (upper body) – Was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Carl Gunnarsson , D (hip) – Remains out.

Lightning
Ryan Callahan, RW (lower body) – Skated on his own after Friday's morning session, remains week-to-week.
Victor Hedman, D (hand) – Will miss 4-6 weeks.
Alex Killorn, RW (shoulder) – Could play Saturday.

Leafs
David Booth, LW (lower body) – No more boot, but no return date set.
Brandon Kozun, RW (ankle) – Remains on Injured Reserve.

Capitals
John Erskine, D, (undisclosed) – Was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
Brooks Laich, C (upper-body) – Placed on injured reserve.
Dmitry Orlov, D (wrist) – Placed on long-term injured reserve on October 7.
Aaron Volpatti, LW (neck) – Placed on long-term injured reserve October 7.

Hot

Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI – Voracek is off to a hot start this season, recording two goals and nine points through the Flyers' first seven games. Playing on the top line with Claude Giroux, Voracek has emerged as a lethal scoring threat both at even strength and on the power play. The 25-year-old has five points in his last two games, one of the reasons the Flyers are scoring an average of 3.14 goals-per-game – ninth best in the NHL. Voracek has terrific puck possession skills and is very hard to knock off the puck, making him dangerous at both ends of the ice. Voracek never hesitates to shoot the puck, being credited with an impressive 22 shots on goal thus far. The right-winger managed a career-high 62 points last season (23 goals) , but judging by his play so far in 2014-15, this could really be the year he breaks out and becomes an elite fantasy player.

Jason Spezza, C, DAL – After recording only one assist in his first three games, Spezza has exploded for a goal and seven points in his last four games. Centering the top line alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Spezza is primed for a big season in 2014-15. It's fair to say the Stars' top line might be the best line in hockey right now, combining for 17 points in the last three games. The 31-year-old Spezza, who has 696 points in 693 NHL games, should maintain a point-per-game pace with the Stars this season. Given his linemates at even strength and on the power play, Spezza should continue to thrive in Dallas playing alongside two budding superstars.

Cold

Jay Bouwmeester, D, STL – After posting four goals and 37 points in 2013-14, expectations were high for Bouwmeester heading into his second full season with the Blues. Through six games, however, he has failed to make an offensive impact, recording no points and just four shots on goal. His lack of production can't be attributed to low ice time, as Bouwmeester is a workhorse in St. Louis, averaging 23:14 of ice time on the team's top defensive pairing with Alex Pietrangelo. Don't get worried yet, though, as the whole Blues' team has been struggling offensive, scoring an average of 2.17 goals per game – fifth-worst in the league. Once the Blues start lighting the lamp more frequently, which they will, Bouwmeester's name will start showing up on the scoresheet.

Justin Williams, RW, LAK – It's been a rough start for the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, who has recorded just one goal and no assists in seven games. Williams has been bumped down to the third line, averaging 15:18 of ice time. To make matters worse, he is currently not being used on the power play, where he recorded seven of his 43 points last season. With the emergence of Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, Williams may have to get used to being more of a secondary scorer, rather than a top-line producer. Williams' fantasy value may have taken a hit, but that doesn't mean he can't still net 20 goals. Look for Mr. Game 7 to turn things around soon.

Recommended Pickup

Mike Ribeiro, C, NSH – Currently owned in only half of ESPN fantasy leagues, it won't be long before Ribeiro becomes 100 percent owned. After going scoreless in his first two games, the former-Capital has ramped up his play, turning in three goals and six points in his last five games. Ribeiro is currently centering the top line, playing alongside James Neal, who had a hat-trick in Thursday's win over Chicago. Aside from a disappointing season with the offensively- challenged Coyotes in 2013-14, Ribeiro has almost produced at a point-per-game pace in his last six seasons. With the Predators off to a hot 5-0-2 start, Ribeiro should continue to pick up points, especially on the top line with former-40 goal-scorer Neal. It also doesn't hurt that Shea Weber is the point man on the top power-play unit, also featuring Ribeiro. Grab him while you can.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brady Trettenero
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He's been writing for RotoWire since 2013.
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