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Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin vows to be better prepared for central role

Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin vows to be better prepared for central role
Published On: Tue, Aug 07
Apr 15, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (52) and Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) fight to control the puck during the third period of the game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Drouin said hea€™s certain what position hea€™ll be playing when the Canadiens open their season on Oct. 3 in Toronto.

a€œIt looks that way for sure,a€ Drouin replied when asked whether he would be playing centre. a€œI dona€™t make those decisions, but thata€™s where I played last year and I feel comfortable coming in this year and knowing that Ia€™m playing centre.a€

There have been times when general manager Marc Bergevin and coach Claude Julien have wondered aloud whether Drouin would be better suited to playing on the wing. The teama€™s failure to upgrade the centre position and the decision to trade Alex Galchenyuk would suggest Drouin has one of the two top spots by default, but an argument can be made that Drouin grew into the position as last season progressed.

a€œThe last 25, 30 games, I was having fun playing centre,a€ Drouin said during a break in the second annual Tournoi Kris Letang, a charity hockey tournament in which NHL players mix with corporate types on the 3-on-3 ice surface at Hockey Etcetera. a€œI was enjoying it. I was winning more faceoffs and thata€™s important because if you win the faceoff, you have the puck and ita€™s easier to play.a€

Drouin said he will be better prepared for the challenge of playing centre this season.

a€œI took some vacation time to relax and get away from the city, but ita€™s back to the training,a€ Drouin said. a€œLast year I came into camp a little bit heavy and I was adjusting to the centre position. I really didna€™t know how to prepare for it. Now, ita€™s easier for me, having played the position last year. I know what I have to do.

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