Bolts top prospects Drouin, Erne involved in vicious hit
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin suffered a possible concussion during Friday’s contest between the Halifax Mooseheads and the Quebec Rempart of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Halifax’s Drouin, the Lightning’s top pick in 2013, was checked from behind into the glass during the first period by Quebec’s Adam Erne.
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Drouin could be seen with blood on his right cheek. He skated off under his own power and did not return. Erne, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in last summer’s draft, received a major for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
The Halifax Mooseheads organization tweeted Drouin will be re-evaluated by team doctors for concussion like symptoms on Saturday.
While the incident between prospects has little bearing on the ailing Bolts — neither player can be made available to Tampa Bay until the junior season is over — it may impact the players’ opportunity to compete internationally.
Both players were named to their country’s preliminary roster for the World Junior Championship in Sweden, Drouin for Team Canada, Erne for Team USA.
If Erne is suspended by the QMJHL, it is unknown whether the International Ice Hockey Federation would see a lengthy punishment carried over to tournament play. Ice hockey’s governing body has recognized suspensions from professional leagues in the past, prohibiting players from competing in IIHF-sanctioned tournaments.
Teams have until Dec. 25 to finalize their rosters.