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First among firsts; where does Drouin stand compared to other Lightning 1st round picks?

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Rookie season production by 1st round draft picks in Lightning team history varies. Drouin's season sits near the top.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday's comparison article regarding Jonathan Drouin and other players in Lightning team history to have worn the jersey number 27 was a bit unfair when talent is taking into consideration - there was only one player of the bunch who had been a 1st round draft selection and played with the Lightning at a comparable age (Jason Weimer). Continuing on comparison and projection for Drouin at the start of his NHL career, take a quick look at the Lightning's 1st round forward selections from 1993 through 2011 and their first pro season production. Defensemen aren't included for the obvious reason that offensive production isn't supposed to be a gauge of their game.

Two seasons are listed here as a gauge, along with standard numbers.

Name

Season

Games played

Goals

Assists

Points

Avg. TOI

Chris Gratton

1993-94
1994-95

84
46

13
7

28
20

42
27

Unavailable

Jason Weimer

1994-95
1995-96

36
66

1
9

4
9

5
18

Unavailable

Daymond Langkow *

1996-97
1997-98

79
68

15
8

13
14

28
22

Unavailable

Vincent Lecavalier

1998-99
1999-00

82
80

13
25

15
42

28
67

13:40
19:18

Nikita Alexeev

2001-02
2002-03

44
37

4
4

4
2

8
6

11:26
11:31

Alexander Svitov **

2002-03
2003-04

63
40

4
2

4
9

8
11

8:50
11:43

Steven Stamkos

2008-09
2009-10

79
82

23

51

23
44

46
95

14:56
20:32

Brett Connolly

2011-12
2012-13

68
5

4
1

11
0

15
1

11:28
10:16

Vladislav Namestnikov

2013-14
2014-15

4
43

0
9

0
7

0
16

9:28
11:00

Jonathan Drouin

2014-15
2015-16

70
??

4
-

28
--

32
--

13:14
--:--

*Langkow was returned to his junior team after a 4 game stint the previous season
** Svitov did not complete his second season with the Lightning

As far as rookie seasons go for first round draft picks in team history (forwards only), the first professional season of Drouin only trails that of Chris Gratton and Steven Stamkos. Even then, Drouin matched Gratton's assist total of 28.

The absolute best rookie season by a forward in Tampa Bay history is with Steven Stamkos who had a more even offensive effort than Gratton in his first year pro.

You'll note the games-played count is down for Connolly and Namestnikov; both were playing most of the season at the AHL level with the Syracuse Crunch. Likewise, Nikita Alexeev's first seasons with the Lightning were split with the Springfield Falcons. The same can be said for Alexander Svitov (who was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets during his second North American pro season).

In the end, some media and fans in the NHL will continue to label Drouin as a disappointment to start his career, having been returned to juniors, healthy-scratches from the lineup in his first season. When comparing him to other talent that's passed through Tampa Bay, he played like a rookie; a productive one whose future is bright.