Photo: Medicine Hat Tigers Site
On the second day of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals chose defenseman Dru Krebs in the fifth round (#176th pick overall). Krebs, who was born in Okotoks, Alberta on Feb 16, 2003, played the last two seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Last season, he also played one game with his hometown Okatoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
During the 2020-21 season, Krebs recorded 11 assists in 23 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers. In 2019-20, he scored three goals and recorded 10 assists in 55 games for the Tigers.
Before joining the Tigers, he played for the Under 18 AAA team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) in his hometown of Okotoks in 2018-19, where he played in 34 games, scored one goal, and recorded 18 assists.
Krebs talked to Medicine Hat News via a phone interview about his feelings prior to the draft. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be considered and ranked on this draft list,” Krebs said. “I put in consistent work throughout my life and it just feels rewarding to be noticed for it. In the big scheme of things I’m just trying to put in my work, play the game I love, trying to make the NHL. Getting drafted doesn’t mean I’m going to make the NHL automatically, but it is a pat on the back and really helps you moving forward.”
Krebs followed his two elder brothers, Dakota and Peyton, into hockey. While his eldest brother, Dakota, was never drafted, he was familiar with the draft due to the experience of his brother, Peyton, who the Vegas Golden Knights ultimately selected at #17 overall in 2019.
Krebs knew the draft would be a nervous wait for him and commented, “I think coming into it, you’ll have nerves, and as he said you’ll always be wondering who you’re going to get drafted to and what’s going to happen on the day of. That’s something you really can’t control. I’m just going to try to hang out with family and just enjoy it as much as possible, as much as you can considering you’re a little impatient for what’s going to happen. But, I think overall it’s just about enjoying the process and using it as a milestone and motivation to keep on going toward your overall goal of playing in the NHL.”
— The WHL (@TheWHL) July 24, 2021
Krebs watched the draft in Penticton with his family, as they were attending a performance that his older sister, Maddison, was doing. Maddison is a singer/songwriter and had moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her music career. Her website can be found here. She even has a song called “Younger Brothers” with childhood clips of the three Krebs boys.
Krebs commented about it, “We’re just going to make an event out of it. My family is all heading out there. My dad rented a place so we’re going to sit around watching the TV, maybe sharing a few beverages as we’re watching and seeing guys I know go – and hopefully myself as well.”
The Medicine Hat Tigers selected him in the second round at #38 overall in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2018. He joined them for the 2019-20 season, his first year of eligibility.
Prior to his first training camp with the team, he shared his feelings with the Dub Network Canada, “Of course, I want to come here and make the team,” Krebs said. “I’m just going to put as much work ethic and everything into every single game and every chance to make an impression for them to keep me on the team.”
Krebs gave himself a brief self-evaluation in that interview, “I think my skating really stands out and then my puck-moving ability. But, as an individual, I think my defects are in the defensive zone against the bigger guys. I’m only 5-foot-11 [now 6’0’), so I’m gonna have to handle guys like my brother and really defend against those guys.”
One of the things that made an impression on him was the injury his brother, Peyton, had received before the NHL Draft of 2019. “Well, as just a bystander towards it, I really respect how much work ethic he puts into it. A lot of guys after they get injured might just go on the couch or something. But Peyton is so determined and so focused that he’s constantly working and trying to get better. He’s going to rehab every day. He’s going and working out every other part of his body so he can stay at the pace that everyone else is, even though he’s without one leg.”
He continued discussing the fact that brother Peyton is a role model for him, “Yeah, it does. Like, both my brothers have been such big role models in my life, and it’s unreal to be able to follow in their footsteps.”
Scouting Report from Elite Prospects
“Krebs’ dimension is transition, starting with his skating. He’s more skilled than mechanically-sound, lacking depth, but having a separation gear in the WHL and evasiveness from mohawks, punch turns, and fake pivots/cutbacks. Those skills bring inherent deceptiveness, which he increases with look-offs to mask his intended pass recipient. ”
His brother, Peyton, was drafted by the Vegas Knights in 2019. He played in four games with Vegas but spent most of the 2020-21 with the Henderson Silver Knights. His brother, Dakota, played five seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. He signed a player tryout contract with the Toronto Marlies but did not get a regular AHL job. His elder sister, Maddison is a singer/songwriter.
One of his former teammates from the Medicine Hat Tigers, Cole Sillinger, was also drafted in 2021, #12 overall, with the Columbus Blue Jackets, although Sillinger played the 2020-21 season with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL.
This is the second consecutive year that the Caps drafted from the Medicine Hat Tigers. In 2020, they drafted Garin Bjorklund in the 2020 NHL Draft.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) July 24, 2021
By Diane Doyle
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Tigers Hockey Website
Western Hockey League Website