Christopher Drury (born August 20, 1976), is an American professional ice hockey player who is currently the captain of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Drury is a Hobey Baker Award-winner with Boston University, a Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche, and an Olympic silver medalist with the United States. As a child, he also won the Little League Baseball World Series Championship with his hometown team from Trumbull, Connecticut. He is sometimes known by the nickname “McDrury”.
Drury excelled at a variety of sports as a child, including hockey and baseball. Playing for his hometown baseball team from Trumbull, Drury pitched a complete game, 5-hitter and drove in two runs in the 1989 Little League World Series championship game against Chinese Taipei. Two months later, Drury threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Game 2 of the 1989 World Series. After that, he also met the President George H. W. Bush and appeared on Good Morning America in New York City.
Drury played many sports simultaneously; before winning the Little League World Series with Trumbull, he won a national pee wee championship with his hockey team from Bridgeport the same year. Along with his older brother, Ted Drury, he attended Fairfield College Preparatory School and won a hockey state championship during his time there. He was co-captain of the varsity hockey team with Rudy Mauritz his senior year, receiving Connecticut all-state honors for his efforts on the ice. Chris and Ted are the only players in Fairfield Prep’s hockey history to have their numbers retired. The number 18, which they both wore, hangs above the school’s home rink at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport in the old rink (currently known as the Stadium Rink after the renovations that added another rink), as well as in the lobby outside the locker room complex at Fairfield Prep itself. Chris’ name and number are also painted above the entrance doors to the Classic arena at the same ice rink.
After graduating from Fairfield College Preparatory School, Drury was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques 72nd overall in the third round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Upon being drafted, Drury began four years at Boston University. In 1995, Drury won a national championship with BU in his freshman year. In his senior year, he won the Hobey Baker Award as the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA)’s top ice hockey player after finishing as the runner-up the previous season. Drury was the first BU player to reach 100 career goals and assists, finishing with 113 and 100, respectively. He was also named the top defensive forward in Hockey East in 1998. On January 15, 2009, well into his NHL career, Drury was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Forward, as part of the league’s 25th Anniversary celebration. Drury was chosen in a vote of Hockey East fans and members of the league’s 25th Anniversary Committee.
As the Nordiques franchise was relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1995, Drury started playing in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in 1998–99. Recording 44 points in his first season, Drury was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie. In doing so, he became the first player in history to have won both the Hobey Baker Award and the Calder Trophy.
After a 65-point season in 2000–01, Drury won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche, adding 12 points in the playoffs. Drury became a fan favorite with the Avalanche crowd primarily due to his clutch play during playoffs. He had a total of 11 game-winning goals in 4 straight playoff seasons in Colorado. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic once said of Drury, “You want a goal, you’re in overtime – you want him.” Because of the amounts of game-winning goals, Drury is often thought of as one of the clutch players in the NHL today.
After Drury’s production dipped to 46 points in 2001–02, he was traded to the Calgary Flames on October 1, 2002, and then to the Buffalo Sabres prior to the next season on July 3, 2003. Traded twice in two seasons, Drury was admittedly frustrated. However, Drury excelled in Buffalo, and his role with the Sabres placed him as co-captain with Danny Brière from 2005 to his departure via free agency in 2007). With his previous numbers 37 with Colorado and 18 with Calgary both taken in Buffalo, Drury switched to 23, in honor of his childhood hero, New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly.
After a career-high 37-goal, 69-point campaign in 2006–07, the Sabres made a run to the Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators as the Presidents’ Trophy-winning first seed. Drury scored two game-winning goals in the first round against the New York Islanders, then scored the game-tying goal in game five of the second round against the New York Rangers with 7.7 seconds left in regulation time. The Sabres won 2-1 in overtime and closed out the series against the Rangers 4 games to 2. In game four of the Conference Finals against the Senators, Drury recorded another game-winner to stave off elimination, but the Sabres were eventually defeated 4 games to 1.
In the off-season, Drury and co-captain Danny Brière both became unrestricted free agents. While Briere signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, Drury signed with the New York Rangers, on July 1, 2007 to a five-year, $35.25 million contract. He made his Rangers debut against the Florida Panthers, scoring a goal in a 5-2 win. On February 1, 2008, in a game against the New Jersey Devils, Drury scored an empty net goal on the power play for his 500th career point. He finished his first season with the Rangers with 58 points – third in team scoring. Matched up against the New Jersey Devils in the first round, Drury scored the game-winning and series-clinching goal to eliminate the Devils in five games. On October 1, 2008, Drury along with the New York Rangers won the Victoria Cup from Metallurg Magnitogorsk by the score of 4-3.
After the departure of Jaromír Jágr from the Rangers to play in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Drury was named the 25th captain in Rangers history on October 3, 2008. Drury is only the second American-born captain in team history. This makes Drury one of five currently active NHL players to be a captain of two different NHL teams, as he also captained the Buffalo Sabres. The players sharing this designation are Chris Pronger, Michael Peca and former teammates Rob Blake and Adam Foote, who took over captaincy of the Colorado Avalanche after Joe Sakic retired before the 2009-10 season.
Chris Drury was named to the 2010 Olympic United States men’s ice hockey team. Drury, Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rafalski are the only members of the 2010 team who have previous Olympic experience. Because of his disappointing play for the Rangers in 2010 (he had spent much of the season on the fourth line, with a pre-Olympics scoring total of 8G-11A-19P and a -14 plus-minus rating), Drury’s inclusion on the team was questioned by former Olympian Jeremy Roenick, who said the team might be better served by adding either former Rangers teammate Scott Gomez or T. J. Oshie.
On February 21, 2010, Drury scored the go-ahead goal to break a 2-2 tie in a critical game against the Canadian national team. The American team went on to win 5-3.