Capitals Prospect Dru Krebs Finally Returns To Postseason At Critical Point In Capitals Tenure

Washington Capitals defensive prospect Dru Krebs has finally returned to postseason play. The 20-year-old Alberta native has to go back quite a ways to remember what it’s like to participate in playoff hockey.

“I don’t think I’ve played playoffs since like bantam so it’s been a long time,” Krebs told Chat News Today. “But you know it’s always good to play games that really matter and it’ll be a great learning experience for all these guys and for myself as well.”

Krebs, a 6’-0” left-handed defenseman from Okotoks, Alberta, was selected by the Capitals in the fifth round (#176th pick overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He is enjoying the fruits of a much better season.

“It’s a big, big change in atmosphere and kind of mentality. A lot of guys achieved the goals, the team goal of making the playoffs so it’s really good,” he said.

Last season Medicine Hat missed the postseason as Krebs ended his 2021-22 campaign a whopping -58. This season has been quite the improvement for Krebs and the Tigers, as they made the playoffs and Krebs turned in his best defensive season to date, rising to the the top pairing and finishing +27.

Krebs participated in both the Capitals’ rookie camp and main training camp. He also played in the Capitals first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres, the team his older brother Peyton plays for.

Photo: Instagram: @Capitals

“It was a cool experience, especially being able to play against my brother, and it’s always cool to play with the pros,” Krebs told the Medine Hat News. “Guys who play at this level and every single level going up, that increases the speed and size and everything, but at that level, it’s the top of the top and it’s just a really good experience to be able to play guys and get that experience underneath my belt.”

Krebs and Medicine Hat teammate goaltender Garin Bjorklund spent some time in Hershey at the end of last season, signing amateur tryout agreements with the Beas on April 20, 2022. However, while Bjorklund came away with a contract with the Capitals, Krebs did not.

Krebs is completing his fourth full season with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL, and remains unsigned by the Capitals. He will become a free agent unless the Capitals extend an offer by the end of the season.

“It’s a contract year for me, so that’s what my pursuit is to get an NHL contract. Also coming back to a really good squad that makes the playoffs and makes a push and also being as big of a leader as possible on this squad,” Krebs said in October. “I want to prove myself as a leader on this team and someone who can really help the squad win some games. It’s just a prove-it year.”

By Jon Sorensen

Related Reading
Dru Krebs: 2022 Annual Review And Forecast
Bears Sign Capitals Prospects Dru Krebs, Garin Bjorklund and Benton Maass To Amateur Tryout Agreements
Report: Capitals Prospects Dru Krebs And Garin Bjorklund Will Report To Hershey This Weekend
Dru Krebs: “It Was A Dream Come True”
Deep Dive: A Closer Look at Capitals Draft Pick Dru Krebs
The Capitals Select Defenseman Dru Krebs In The 6th Round Of The 2021 NHL Entry Draft
Medicine Hat Tigers Web Site
Western Hockey League Web Site

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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14 Responses to Capitals Prospect Dru Krebs Finally Returns To Postseason At Critical Point In Capitals Tenure

  1. KimRB says:

    Hmmm. So the Caps have 3 defensemen, age 23, on the left. And a right shot, Vinny Iorio, age 20, who’s almost ready. If Krebs signs, where does he fit in? He’d start at Hershey, or SC. And he also knows that Toby Geisser may be coming back, and Joaquin Lemay might be more left shot competition. Maybe he hasn’t signed because he feels it may be too crowded. We have till June 1 to ink him.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Earlier this year the Caps were very close to the 50 Player contract limit which I imagine led to a few prospects not getting offers. There’s a lot more room now after the trade deadline.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Correct. 45 of 50 allowable contracts.

    • dwgie26 says:

      I was just looking at CF and I think we’ll shed 12 contracts including Hags and Brown who are on LTIR. Plus Veccicone, Scarbosa, Nardella, Fucale, and more. We’ll have the ability to sign upto 17 contracts. We won’t sign that many but it does mean we’ll have a lot of flexibility to lock some folks up.

      Change, when done right, is a process, not an overnight thing. We saw it start a bit last year, more this year, more over the offseason, and across next year.

      • KimRB says:

        My guess is that some of the Hershey guys will be back, for example Sgarbs, McIlrath, Carlsson etc. You need to fill out the AHL team, and keep some depth that is ready for call up, in case we miss another 400 games to injury. Too much roster turnover is probably not a good thing.

        • dwgie26 says:

          Yes, and most of the guys you mentioned will be signing AHL contracts and not NHL 2 ways contracts. Exception may be Carlsson but he wasn’t one of the 12 i identified because i think they need him on a two-way for call-up purposes. But McIlrath and Scarbossa can be AHL contracts.

          • KimRB says:

            “Yes, and most of the guys you mentioned will be signing AHL contracts and not NHL 2 ways contracts”

            Will be? Where’d you get that info from?

            I’m unconvinced that all of the Hershey vets are gonna be signing AHL contracts, for two reasons: 1. You can’t call them up, if they’re on an AHL only contract. Injuries happen, and they’d be useful at the NHL level, just like McIlrath was, for a few games. 2. The players themselves may feel that they have a shot at cracking an NHL lineup. Take Sgarbossa. He has offensive pop, and may shop around at other organizations for a two way contract.

            Your “will be signing AHL contracts” is wishful thinking. One or two might, but not all of them.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  4. dwgie26 says:

    Yeah, we had a real contract backlog. But as was noted a growing trend for picks like this (say 4th – 6th round and college players) are getting their first contract as an AHL only contract. Kinda like Ethan Frank last year. Then he got a two-way. Martin Has same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign Gibson to AHL level contract as well. It is the savvy GM thing to do right now. Especially since Gibson and Dru are not playing in the NHL next year almost no matter what. So sign to an AHL contract and if they are strong then sign to an NHL contract.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I agree with the strategy of signing certain players to AHL-only deals. The risk occurs if they have a really good season, like Ethen Frank. He would have been a free agent (or any other AHL-only deals) and could have tested the waters. To be honest, I don’t know why he didn’t. He is/was the buzz of the league and some team might have thrown a lot of money and term at him. Luckily Danny Brooks is a good recruiter and a people person and kept Frank in the family. Caps did pay more for next year’s deal with Frank, but that’s to be expected. I agree with the strategy, but there is definitely some risk.

      • dwgie26 says:

        This is what i have been talking about all year Jon… loyalty gets rewarded. Culture gets rewarded. So amongst all the noise of cut this guy, throw this guy away (and some deserve it), I have been pointing to the culture. we are able to recruit key talent while we are strapped. It’s allowing us to get favorable contracts. But yeah, we are lucky Frank signed a contract but he is doing it right. He knows he’ll have a shot here, but didn’t lock himself in beyond a year.

        • KimRB says:

          We own him for two more years actually, till he’s 27. Frank will be an RFA after the contract expires in 2024.

      • novafyre says:

        Some AHL teams are owned by NHL teams and I can see them spreading contracts out, but Bears are not owned by Ted. So how does this work? Ted just casually tells the Bears, hey, you guys spend your money, put him on your contract.

        • dwgie26 says:

          Good point Fyre. But they have to be in lock step. And when Caps say we won’t sign Scarbossa (as an example) it will then be upto Hershey as to whether or not they want to sign him on a one-year deal which they should. Just like they did with Veccicone. He will be on an AHL contract with the Bears next year.

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