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Drouin to begin pro career in Syracuse

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday announced that forward Jonathan Drouin has been assigned to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch for a conditioning stint.

The third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Drouin is expected to begin his professional career on Friday night when Syracuse hosts Springfield.

Drouin, 19, recorded 29 goals and 79 assists for 108 points in just 46 games with Halifax (QMJHL) last season, and added 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points in 16 playoff games. In 2012-13, Drouin was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year and led Halifax to the Memorial Cup championship after registering 105 points in 49 regular-season games and 35 points in 17 playoff outings.

Drouin has been out since suffering an injury during a training-camp practice with the Lightning on Sept. 18.