Jude Drouin was drafted as an 18-year-old in 1966 in the third round, 17th overall, by the Montreal Canadiens while playing for the Montreal Junior Canadiens. In 1966-67 he played in 47 games, scoring 32 goals and 36 assists for 68 points.
As a 19-year-old, Drouin joined the Houston Apollos of the CPHL, scoring 22 goals and 60 points in a 68-game season. Midway through the following season, Drouin got the call from the Canadiens and he suited up for them for nine games, picking up an assist in limited duty.
The powerhouse Canadiens simply could not find room for Drouin in their lineup, so he found himself with the Minnesota North Stars for the start of the 1970-71 season. It was a move which allowed his career to blossom. The Stars, in desperate need of good young talent, inserted Drouin into the starting lineup where he responded with 16 goals and 52 assists for 68 points in 75 games.
Drouin's best offensive season was 1972-73 when he had career highs in goals and assists, potting 27 goals and 46 assists for 73 points in 78 games. His career in Minnesota lasted four-and-a-half years before he was dealt to the New York Islanders midway through the 1974-75 season. Drouin's stay on Long Island lasted four years.
In 1979-80, Drouin played a season with the Winnipeg Jets. In 78 games he had eight goals and 16 assists. He retired from the NHL the following season at the age of 32, having played in just seven games with the Jets.
Drouin was not without controversy in his NHL career. He was once suspended for three games in the early 1970s for allegedly assaulting referee Bruce Hood in a game in Bloomington. Some believed Drouin got off lightly, but the North Stars said Hood had been intimidating Drouin throughout the game. With the entire North Star bench already upset at several calls made against them earlier in the game, the ruckus began when Drouin skated by Hood early in the second period and uttered the words "you're like all the rest," referring to what he perceived to be generally poor officiating in the league. Hood challenged Drouin to repeat the statement, which he did. Hood responded by dishing out a misconduct. The now-fuming Drouin charged towards Hood, stick in hand, but was intercepted before reaching his destination by fellow teammates J.P. Parise and Barry Gibbs. In his post-game report, Hood wrote that Drouin's stick had made contact with his shoulder, thus constituting assault. NHL president Clarence Campbell reviewed the report and video of the game before handing down the three-game suspension.