ColoradoAvalanche.com profiles the players named to the Avalanche's 20th Anniversary Team.
Chris Drury’s list of achievements during his playing days reads like a fairy tale. His career was marked by his commitment to the game and ability to be a clutch skater in tight situations, and the fans loved him.
This is one of the many reasons why the four-year member of the Colorado Avalanche was named to the club’s 20th Anniversary Team, comprising the top-20 players in franchise history as voted on by the fans.
Drury is one of five players (Peter Stastny, Peter Forsberg, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon) in Quebec Nordiques and Avalanche history to be awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy. He was also the first Hobey Baker Award winner—which he won during his senior season at Boston University after a four-year collegiate career—to earn the trophy.
The forward is one of nine franchise skaters to be named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team, after he put up 44 points (20 goals and 24 assists) in 79 games during the 1998-99 season.
However, only two of the organization’s five Calder Trophy winners have also won the coveted Stanley Cup.
Drury was bestowed the greatest honor in all of hockey history when the Avalanche won its second Stanley Cup Championship in 2001.
During the 2000-01 campaign, Drury had his second straight 65-plus point season when he recorded 24 tallies and 41 helpers in 71 contests. He added 16 more points (11 goals and five assists) in 23 playoff games, which included two game-winners.
Drury led the team with six game-winning goals in the 2001-02 season and reached the franchise’s third longest goal streak (five games) from Jan. 19-26, 2002.
His other accolades include ranking 28th on the Avalanche’s all-time scoring list with 85 goals and 137 assists in 314 games played, sitting 11th in franchise playoff scoring with 50 points (26 goals and 24 assists) in 80 games and being tied for third in the NHL with four career overtime playoff markers. Longtime Avs captain and current executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic still leads the league with eight extra-frame tallies.
The Trumbull, Connecticut, native is also a three-time medalist in international play, having won silver twice with the United States at both the 2002 Salt Lake City and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He also took home bronze at the 2004 IIHF World Championship, a tournament he skated in three times (1997, 1998, 2004).
Selected by the Nordiques in the third-round (72nd overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Drury played in 892 NHL games with the Avs, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. He collected 615 regular-season points (255 goals and 360 assists) and recorded 89 points (47 goals and 42 assists) in 135 postseason appearances.
After 12 years in the NHL, Drury formally retired from the game on Aug. 19, 2011, and at the age of 39, was inducted into the 2015 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, the forward was unable to attend the Avalanche’s 20th Anniversary Team night on Dec. 7. The ceremony brought back the franchise’s best to be honored at Pepsi Center for their individual and group achievements during the last 20 years of Colorado hockey.