After playing last season in Sweden, Hurricanes 2018 second-round pick Jack Drury signed his three-year entry-level deal with the team Wednesday. Drury figures to compete for a roster spot in the Hurricanes’ bottom six in training camp.
Drury spoke to the media via Zoom Wednesday, here’s some highlights of what he had to say:
On signing with the Hurricanes: I’m incredibly excited. It’s a great feeling. Having that clarity is nice, and I’m just excited to get to work and be a part of this great organization.
On his game and if there’s an NHL player he plays like: I think I’m an offensive two-way player. You’ve seen [Nick Suzuki] in the playoffs, I think I try to play a bit like him, strong on both ends of the ice, but with offensive scoring ability and playmaking ability as well.
On the Hurricanes’ organization: It’s incredibly exciting. I think seeing Rod Brind’Amour and getting to meet him a couple times, seeing how respected he is across the league, that’s something incredibly exciting. I think the Hurricanes’ organization in general, it’s evident how they keep moving up and keep doing better and better. So I’m really excited to be a part of that.
On what he likes about the Canes’ system: I think they play aggressive and they play hard. They’re not a team that generally sits back. I think that fits my style of play. I like to try to dictate the play and play aggressive. So in that sense, I’m excited. I think I can certainly help the team out that way.
On getting to play for Rod Brind’Amour: It’s incredibly exciting. I think anybody in the league would want to play for Rod. I think the organization, they really value him a lot and all the players, I’m sure, do. So it’s incredibly exciting. I think it’s a good chance but at the end of the day, I’ve still got to go out and prove myself, and play to the best of my abilities.
On his decision to play in Sweden: I was planning on going back to college for my junior year, but once it looked like we weren’t going to have a season, that kind of pushed me towards looking at some alternative options. Europe was a safe bet to play. I think Sweden’s an incredible league for young players. Personally, I wanted to work on my skating and get better at skating. I think that big ice surface really allowed me to do that. To play on that all year and be with players that use their speed a lot, I think helped my game out a lot.
On his family connections: I think it helped. I don’t think the name itself helped, but I think having the background, having the experience that my Dad had, and my uncle had, and even my mother with her sports had, they could provide me with a lot of input, particularly in tough times. I think they know the mental approaches needed to get through the dips in your career and how you can use those to really better yourself.
On the experience playing in Sweden: It was incredible. I think the last week was really, really cool. I think getting to win and be a part of a real playoff team in a pretty grueling playoffs, that was great experience. I think I learned a lot from our older guys and our veterans that have won a couple championships before. It’s definitely something that’s going to help me transitioning into North American pro hockey. So I think that was very valuable. We had a tight team, and being an import, I think it’s a unique situation, but it gave me a little bit of perspective on the European teammates I’ll have in North America, what they go through and the differences there. So all in all, I think it helped me become not only a more well-rounded player, but a more well-rounded person too.
On how he’s grown since being drafted: I think I’m just a lot bigger, stronger and faster. It’s a cliche but it’s true. When I got drafted I was kind of a scrawny 18-year-old and I feel like now I’m 21 and a lot bigger, faster, stronger. I think mentally you just kind of learn how to be a pro a little bit more, learn how to be a little more consistent and overall skill development. I think just learning how to read plays, things like that that come with time, these last couple years have really helped me out with that.
On if he has any friends on the Hurricanes he can talk to: I don’t have super close contact with anyone. But being at the development camps in the past, before the coronavirus hit I got to go to two development camps. My first one, [Andrei Svechnikov] was there and Martin Necas, I got to talk to those guys a bit, form, not a close relationship but we got to know each other. At my second camp, I got to meet some guys like [Ryan Suzuki], [Jamieson Rees] and some guys like that, so I think, in the future, I’ll get a lot closer with those guys, but it’s good that I’ve already met them and know some familiar faces coming in.