Monday, September 7, 2015

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers Autograph Card

It looks like Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will be playing in Europe for the foreseeable future, after stints with the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild organizations didn't pan out.

He spent last season with the KHL's latest installment of the famed Dinamo Riga club (2.66 GAA and .903 save percentage in 13 games, in a league where the best goalies post averages below 2.00) and will be in Germany next year, manning the net for Augsburger Panther, where he'll be joined by Ben Hanowski, who just two years ago was part of a trade package that sent him to the Calgary Flames and Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Also playing for the Panther next year are former prospects Mark Mancari, Drew Leblanc and Ivan Ciernik. They should at least compete for a good position overall.

It's too bad for Drouin-Deslauriers, though, who came up with Devan Dubnyk through the Oilers' ranks and may have ended up on the wrong side of poor defensive teams long enough to stall his development. It could have cost Dubnyk his career as well, but he overcame tremendous odds and was nominated for the Vezina Trophy last season, winning the Masterton.

Here is JDL sporting the Oilers' post-lockout white (now-away) uniform that looks like a pajama had a baby with a practice jersey, in this card from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers Collection (it's card #FI-JD of the Franchise Ink sub-set, featuring a blue-sharpie on-sticker autograph):
I like his stance here, though he looks a tad nonchalant with his blocker a bit low. He's a goalie who is tremendously fast and agile with his pads, and at some point in the early stages in his career may have been on par with Jonathan Quick and Carey Price with his leg work, but he was susceptible to goals on the glove side, which is a frequent occurrence for goalies who catch with their right hand, just from a lack of practice from forwards in the lower levels being used to wanting to shoot to their right instead of their left.

He now counts as my entry for #38 in my Oilers Numbers Project.

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