Chris Drury on Hughes, Kakko, his future and more

Rangers assistant GM and Team USA GM Chris Drury was a guest of Darren Dreger’s during the World Championships and said (TSN):

  • On the opportunity to be Team USA GM, “it’s a huge honor and Jeff came by my office one day, he is part of the management committee and, said that Beezer was going to call and when he did it took about 30 seconds to say yes and I never looked back.”
  • On Jack Hughes, “he’s a terrific kid. Such elite skaters, such elite talent, Quinn has gotten better and better and Jack is fitting in nicely. He’s not playing 20+ minutes he was for the program all winter but he’s learning a lot, sitting next to Kane in the locker room, every day he fitting in and trying to get better.”
  • On Kaapo Kakko, “he’s an impressive player, no question. As far as his body goes he kind of already has a mans body, 6-3 been playing against older guys much longer than Jack has but either way we are in a great spot and going to get a hell of a player and Jersey is too.”
  • On Kakko’s pro experience making him NHL ready, “right now it gives him an edge in this tournament, he’s going against Suter and Skjei and players of that age and size all winter and Jack just hasn’t. The big thing is projecting long-term, where they are going to be and what kind of players they are going to be but they are both impressive.”
  • On eventually becoming an NHL GM, “I think that long-term that is something I would love to do but right now I absolutely love working for Gorts and the Rangers and got back into the game with one goal in mind and that is to help them win a Stanley Cup and that hasn’t changed for me.”
  • On his path after retiring, “Jeff hired me to get into development and I was Director of Player Development for a year and I got to be in a lot of different meetings, with coaches, draft meetings, free agent meetings, trade deadline meetings and this kind of opened up. The assistant GM job was out there and Jeff asked if I had any interest and was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and get the job.”
  • On what is next after this tournament, “We get home around Memorial Day and Jeff and I will be heading to the combine and then it’s full on getting ready for Vancouver and the draft and then it’s development camp and free agency off to the races getting ready for September.”