Jack Drury had a family full of experience to learn from as he prepares for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Drury, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound center for Waterloo of the United States Hockey League, is the son of former NHL center Ted Drury and the nephew of Chris Drury, who played 12 seasons in the League and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 and now is the assistant general manager of the New York Rangers.
Growing up with all that knowledge has been beneficial for Jack.
"I think getting to go to the rink and see all [Ted's] games, and then just having him as a coach when I was younger helped out a lot, and obviously been through a lot of great organizations, great programs that have helped me fine tune [my game]," Drury said during the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September.
Drury, 17, earned a B rating on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list, which means he's projected to be a second- or third-round pick at the draft, which will be held June 22-23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. He's ninth in the USHL in scoring with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 27 games. He also had five points (two goals, three assists) in four games for the United States at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August.
"Jack has been good, he's a tremendous kid," Waterloo coach P.K. O'Handley said. "I think he had a really good season last year and found his way as another young guy, and this year he's pointing it a little bit better, though he wants more. I think his game is certainly a 200-foot game. That's where Jack will make a living someday of being a real responsible guy, and I think he's put some expectations on himself that, at least early on, there's been some frustration on his side. But all in all, I think it's all aces for Jack Drury.
"He had a big summer with the Hlinka team, and I think there's a real special young man there not only as a player but a person. He's just working his way through it every day and a real driven kid."
Although Drury's point totals this season are good, he says he has other attributes that help make him a better player.
"I think my work ethic and my mental toughness, especially in my own zone, separates me from a couple of the other guys," Drury said. "But I think when you get to the level we're at now, where everyone's good, you've got to have the hockey IQ and be able to make plays under pressure, so I try to do that."
Drury's two-way play help make him a good fit for NCAA hockey, and he's committed to play at Harvard starting next season. Ted Drury played at Harvard from 1989-93 and was teammates with coach Ted Donato for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1999-00.
"He tried to kind of, not really push me into it, but in the back of my mind I always wanted to go there," Drury said. "Obviously it's a tremendous school and school is important to me, as well as hockey. The hockey program is phenomenal. I'm excited to eventually get there. It should be cool."
Drury said he's focused on a strong season with Waterloo and not Harvard or the draft, or the number of scouts who will be watching him the rest of the season.
"It's impossible to not let it creep into the back of your mind a little bit, but you keep reminding yourself you play hockey for fun, you play to get better and you focus on that part of it," he said.
"Probably the biggest thing my dad's ever taught me is you can't focus on that stuff. It's all about the process; you've got to stick to the process, day by day, workout by practice. So for me, that's probably an advantage I have over some other guys … I know you can't focus on that stuff and you've got to really stay in the moment and stick to the process."