It happened, it finally happened: Jonathan Drouin is returning to the NHL, being recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning this morning along with defenseman Matt Taormina.
Drouin has played 17 total games with the Syracuse Crunch since he was sent to the club in January. Those 17 games were divided by Drouin's desertion from the club (and organization) on January 21st. He had played 7 games with the Crunch before walking out, scoring 2 goals and 1 assist. Since his return to the organization last month, he's notched 9 goals and an assist; a point-per-game pace.
Drouin's reassignment to Syracuse stemmed from lack of quality playing time as well as a better chance to hone his overall game. Yet going to the AHL was what sparked Drouin's camp to let it be known to the public that the 2nd year pro had made a trade request in November.
With Steven Stamkos out and the roster thinned in general by injuries, it'll afford Drouin time in the spotlight. The question that comes up now is if head coach Jon Cooper will relegate him to lower-line duties again (as had been the regular order of business for most of Drouin's time in Tampa).