The nephew of Chris Drury, Jack checks in as the 53rd ranked prospect in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
The left-handed centre had a good season overall that should see him in the conversation as a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick in this upcoming draft class.
He has all the intangibles that teams desire but also some underrated offensive chops that allow him to be a well-rounded player that can do anything. That versatility means that Drury has a good chance to carve out an NHL career just because he won’t be limited to one specific role.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.62/ February 3, 2000
- Birthplace: Winnetka, IL, USA
- Frame:5-foot-11/ 179 lbs
- Position: Centre
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Waterloo Black Hawks(USHL)
- USHL All-Academic Team
- USHL Second All-Star Team
Drury was selected 28th overall by the Black Hawks during the USHL Futures Draft. After appearing in 44 games with Waterloo last season, he was named captain and posted 65 points in 56 games this season. He is committed to Harvard University.
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Drury set a USHL record for the longest point streak ever by putting up points in 23 games straight. There was some luck to the point streak and was heavily reliant on powerplay production. As we can see from the 5 on 5 event tracker, Drury wasn’t on for a lot of goals for and against at 5v5 play but still ended the year with an impressive 65.7% GF% with +12.5% GFREL%.
He stands out in terms of involvement, GF%, GFREL%, SEAL, shots on goal and XLS% despite having a fairly limited role at 5v5.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
That lack of production at 5v5 was immediately something that stood out but looking at these charts, we can see that Drury didn’t play a whole lot of even strength play and was reasonably productive when he did. He was reliant on powerplay production for points (and the streak) but that is a common trend among offensive players in the USHL. Players like Casey Mittelstadt and Brock Boeser were above 50% of their points coming from the powerplay.
The WOWY’s show that he kept his most common linemates in the same range with him as they did when without him.
Overall, there aren’t any red flags in terms of the underlying numbers and the concern about lack of 5v5 production is explained through his eTOI.
The USHL is still an emerging pipeline that we are now seeing as a steady stream of legitimate prospects. With that in mind, 19.6% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars. Not a jump of the page number but still falls in line with the expected value for this point in the draft.
Drury is a well rounded, 200-foot player, who will do anything that is asked of him and will do it well. He can play anywhere in the lineup and make his presence felt. That could be his defensive play where he uses his smarts and truculence to grind it out in the corners against his opponents. Hounding them and forcing them to make decisions with the puck.
In an offensive role, Drury has a decent shot that when given the space to do so, can be quite accurate. His best offensive attribute is his playmaking skill in the sense that he is good at creating space and time for his teammates and then makes the quick little pass to his teammate for a great chance. He isn’t a player that makes those feathered passes but makes the plays through his grinding and awareness and then makes the simple play.
His skating is something that doesn’t stand out. It’s a bit heavy and choppy, lacking acceleration and top speed. He isn’t a bad skater but it’s not standout skill in any way. He is strong on his feet though, able to protect the puck quite well.
Drury was very good at the Ivan Hlinka’s for the USA – posting two goals and three assists in four games for the Americans.
The Winnetka native has a great work ethic, leadership qualities, character, and high motor that makes him attractive as a prospect. His point streak likely isn’t a clear representation of his offensive game but he does that work ethic to grind it out in the offensive zone to make things happen. He is a player that won’t blow you away with his skill but does just make things happen.
As we can see from this image from prospect-stats.com, Drury was limited to a third line role but produced at a first line rate:
Drury is an old school scouts dream in the sense that he has those intangibles, gritty game and willing to make things happen. His versatility is something that bodes extremely well for him as he can be a gritty offensive centre or help with the defensive side of the game.
His underlying numbers are really encouraging for any player coming out of the USHL and suggest that there is a good chance of an NHL career. Harvard is a program that players spend more time at than others, so Drury will have a chance to improve his skating and strength before making the leap to professional hockey.
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Mature, hard-working center with NHL bloodlines whose top-end production is a byproduct of his ridiculous work ethic in every situation regardless of the score. Drury, whose father Ted spent the majority of his NHL career with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, epitomizes the old school “lunchpail” type by hustling and fighting tooth and nail for the puck. He’s a workhorse along the boards and usually beats his man to coveted real estate in front of the net. All that said, Drury is able to pile up an impressive point total from all the scoring chances his blood and sweat help create. Not only was Drury Team USA’s best player at last summer’s under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament, but he’s also among the league leaders in scoring as a first-year draft eligible. He’s very good on draws and can be both the main set-up guy on the power play and Chicago’s most reliable penalty killer. Drury’s speed and shot are both average, but he understands the game well enough to make the right reads and convert his opportunities.