Team Canada brass is expecting Jonathan Drouin to be ready for the World Junior Championship.
When, well that’s another matter.
“I expect that Jonathan at some point, whether that’s in Toronto or Europe, will play,” said senior director of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond. “I expect that he’ll be prepared and ready to go by the tournament, for sure. But that’s a pretty broad statement without having him evaluated.”
Drouin’s status for the tournament, which starts on Boxing Day, was thrown into question after the Halifax Mooseheads leading scorer was diagnosed with a mild concussion after absorbing a hard hit from behind by Quebec Remparts’ Adam Erne on Friday.
Drouin missed Sunday’s game against the Charlottetown Islanders, and his status was day to day.
But Drouin is expected to be in Toronto for the opening of Team Canada’s training camp on Thursday where a team doctor will evaluate him.
“The indications are is that he’s going to be okay,” said Salmond. “We’ll all be relieved when we see Jonathan on the ice in a Team Canada jersey.”
The league decided against suspending Erne, which infuriated Mooseheads GM Cam Russell.
Salmond wouldn’t comment on the league’s ruling, saying QMJHL and CHL matters are out of his jurisdiction.
He said he’s relieved that Drouin is on the path of recovery.
“He brings valuable experience, which we don’t have a lot of,” said Salmond. “Jonathan’s a world class player. We expect him to be a big part of our team.”