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The number 27 and how Jonathan Drouin dwarfs those who wore it in Tampa Bay

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In short: he doesn't compare to who has worn the sweater number (for stints or for their careers) in Tampa Bay - he's about to further prove it.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The start to Jonathan Drouin's NHL career has been slowed by the development track prescribed by GM Steve Yzerman and employed, in part, in Tampa Bay through head coach Jon Cooper's usage of Drouin during his first pro season. Hindsight being 20/20/ Steve Yzerman would have kept Drouin with the NHL team in 2013-14 if he knew what was in store (the loss of Steven Stamkos and the defection of Martin St. Louis later in the season). But all of that's in the past... We move forward in this life, always moving forward... And in the case of Drouin it looks to be on a path of achievement now instead of a game-honing path.

It's worth wondering about if Drouin will catch up to his 2013 NHL draft alumni when it comes to productivity: Nathan Mackinnon, Alex Barkov, Seth Jones and others from that highly touted class have been part of their respective clubs at the pro level since their selection. Drouin, on the other hand, went back to the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL in 2013-14 and had to pay his dues last season.

Goals of equating the production of other NHL stars and 2013 NHL draft alumni can come later, let's start with a simpler comparison for Drouin that he could very well meet or exceed in 2015-16 if his regular-season performance mirrors what he's done in the preseason. Instead of gauging Drouin against counterparts at current in the league, how does he stack up against other players in Tampa Bay Lightning team history to wear the number 27? Impressively.

Name (position)

Seasons

Goals

Assists

Points

Stan Drulia (RW)

1992-93

2

1

3

Alexander Semak (C)

1994-95

5

5

10

David Shaw (D)

1994-98

2

23

25

Jason Weimer* (C)

1997-98

8

9

17

Brent Peterson* (LW)

1998-99

2

1

3

Colin Forbes (C)

1998-2000

3

1

4

Jassen Cullimore* (D)

1998-2000

6

13

19

Steve Martins (C)

2000-01

1

1

2

Sheldon Keefe* (RW)

2000-01

4

0

4

Tim Taylor (C)

2001-07

23

38

61

Brandon Bochenski (RW)

2008-10

4

10

14

Bruno Gervais (D)

2011-12

6

7

13

*denotes played under several numbers in his career with the Lightning

Of the 13 players in Lightning team history to wear the #27, Drouin is already second on the list in scoring all-time. Tim Taylor owns the all-time lead by way of tenure... Hey, you play five seasons with a club and you're going to rack up some points. His value to the organization went beyond offensive production by being part of team leadership (wearing the "A" and the "C" before being forced to retire). Whatever the case, Taylor's 3rd line productivity with the club makes the number 27 his up to this point in time by way of what he achieved here.

Also, in fairness, it's worth noting Jassen Cullimore only wore 27 sparingly in his lengthy Lightning career - he was usually wearing #5 - and Sheldon Keefe (yes, OHL fans, Coach Keefe) also played under several different numbers in his time with Tampa, totaling 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in his career here.

Of the 12 players before Drouin to wear #27 in Tampa Bay, the one with the biggest expectations attached to him was 1994 first round pick (8th overall) Jason Wiemer. Wiemer, who wore 3 different numbers during his tenure in Tampa, never hit his stride with the Lightning before being traded out of town to the Calgary Flames in the 1997-98 season when he was 21 years old. His most productive season as an NHL player would have him hit only 31 points for the season (11 goals, 20 assists with the Florida Panthers in 2001-02).

Drouin passed that in his rookie season last year: 32 points on 4 goals and 28 assists. He met or passed 7 of the former Bolts 27's in goals-scored (4) and trails only Taylor in assists (28). Not bad for a 3rd / 4th liner averaging 13:14 time on ice a game. For what it's worth, Taylor's average time on ice dwindled during his career in Tampa: going from a high mark of 13:43 to 7:55 in his last season of play.

In general, Taylor and Drouin shouldn't be compared... But when things are over this season - or perhaps sometime mid-season, Jonathan Drouin reaching 29 points or exceeding it will make him the most offensively potent player ever to wear the number in Tampa Bay.