Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Dru Krebs, defenseman for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League (WHL). (You can access all of the Capitals prospect reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page in the top menu or right here.)
Krebs, 20, is a 6’-0” left-handed defenseman from Okotoks, Alberta. The Capitals selected Krebs in the fifth round (#176th pick overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He remains unsigned by the Capitals.
Krebs followed his two elder brothers, Dakota and Peyton, into the game of hockey. While his oldest 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.
Peyton played in four games with Vegas, but spent most of the 2020-21 season 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.
Kebs 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 made his WHL debut in the 2019-20 season, playing 55 regular season games and recorded three goals and 10 assists.
During the 2020-21 season, Krebs recorded 11 assists in 23 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Krebs attended Capitals’ prospect camp at the end of September, 2021, and participated in the Capitals main training camp. He was returned to the Medicine Hat Tigers on September 28, 2021. The Tigers struggled the entire season, as Krebs ended his 2021-22 campaign a whopping -58 in plus/minus. It was extremely difficult to gauge Krebs and fellow Capitals’ prospect Garin Bjorklund, as to how they were performing in the 11 games we watched this past season.
Krebs joined teammate Bjorklund in reporting to Hershey following the conclusion of the Medicine Hat season on Friday April 15, 2022. Both Bjorklund and Krebs signed amateur tryout agreements with the Bears and were officially released from their agreements a week later.
Krebs participated in both the Capitals’ rookie camp and main training camp in September, 2022. He also played in the Capitals first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres, the team his older brother Peyton plays for.
Krebs recorded 41 points (8g, 33a) in 67 games with Medicine Hat in the 2022-23 season. He finished tied for fifth on the team in scoring, and led all defensemen in points. His 33 assists ranked third on the team. He once again signed an ATO with the Bears on April 10 and remained with the team for the postseason.
2022-2023 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Dru Krebs during the 2022-2023 season. Also included are his monthly scores (0-5, with 2.5 being average). You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
The returning Tigers defenseman is using last season’s disappointment as motivation to get the team back to its competitive nature.
Some early thoughts from Medicine Hat #Tigers camp:
D-man Dru Krebs has really stood out through the first two days of drills/scrimmages.
Coming off last year, I think the 19-year-old wants to prove people wrong and so far, he looks like a man on a mission. #WHL #medhat
— James Tubb (@ReporterTubb) September 4, 2022
“I think it’s coming in with an open mind, and then also a bit of hunger into the season, trying to prove people wrong and being the player that I know I am and the team that we know we are.” Krebs said.
Krebs participated in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp. He played in the Capitals first preseason game before being returned to Medicine Hat on September 26.
Krebs was named to the leadership group for the Tigers as an assistant captain on October 26. He has also stepped up his scoring a bit this season, recording eight assists in the first 11 games, and is just a -2. A vast improvement over last season.
Monthly Score: 3.0
Krebs played in his 150th career WHL game on November 16. It was also the night he recorded his first goal of the season.
HOW DO YOU DRU?@tigershockey | @Capitals pic.twitter.com/whABFeKvtE
— The WHL (@TheWHL) November 17, 2022
Medicine Hat has improved as a team to start the 2022-23 season, but still struggle, amassing an 8-12-4 record to start the season.
Regardless, Krebs’ game has improved in the three games we watched in the month of November, and his basic statistics reflect that. He has a goal and 11 assists in the 24 games, anchoring the second pair (defensive pairing for the Tigers). He is a +1, which is also an improvement over last season.
Monthly Score: 2.5
Krebs and the Medicine Hat Tigers are playing much better than last season, but are still struggling at times, amassing a record of 13-18-5-1 so far this season. However, we were able to watch three of Krebs games in December, and Krebs has certainly shown improvement on the back end.
Krebs, one-on-one, defensively, has made a major step forward, and his zone exits and puck management in his own zone have also noticeably improved. He is a +4 this season, which is a major improvement from last season. Again, if you value that stat.
In his current situation in Medicine Hat, Krebs will always be looked to for defense, but did manage a tally in December.
Dru Krebs gets the party started for the Tigers with his third of the season!@Capitals pic.twitter.com/KV5cdhaU74
— The WHL (@TheWHL) December 10, 2022
Krebs has just three goals on 66 shots for a 4.5% shooting percentage so far this season, which is underwhelming. Krebs next step will be Hershey or South Carolina next season.
Monthly Score: 2.5
Krebs has seen an uptick in offense this season that has come with more ice time. In 11 games in January Krebs recorded two goals and seven assists.
Dru goes shelf. @tigershockey pic.twitter.com/1JFjFPq23y
— The WHL (@TheWHL) January 7, 2023
Krebs says the increase in offense and production just comes from confidence while defending. He was also recently elevated to the top defensive pairing for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“Just playing better defensively and then making plays, and eventually the points would come but that’s not the goal,” Krebs said. “The situation is points are more just about helping the team win and that’s another byproduct of us playing better as a team.”
We were salivating at the edge work, but that shot… oooooo… that shot has us drooling🤤. @tigershockey pic.twitter.com/cI4EGNm0SO
— The WHL (@TheWHL) January 8, 2023
Besides helping the Tigers win and make the playoffs, Krebs wants to show he should be putting pen to paper.
“I feel like I’ve made a steady incline this entire season and have given myself a chance to prove myself to the organization and Washington as a whole to earn myself a contract,” Krebs said. “But it’s still a lot to come and still have a lot to prove, it’s a constant process.”
Monthly Score: 3.0
Krebs continues to anchor the left side of the Tigers’ top defensive pairing.
Offensively, Krebs had no goals and six assists in nine games played in February. For the season he has five goals and 30 assists in 56 games played. He’s shot the puck 106 times for a 4.7% shooting percentage.
This season is a contract year for Krebs before he would become a free agent.
Monthly Score: 2.0
Krebs and the Tigers rebounded nicely this season after a rough going in the 2021-22 season.
Krebs was solid on the backend in the four games we watched in March, which included a 7-0 shutout of the high-flying Regina Pats (Connor Bedard and Alexander Suzdalev).
Offensively, Krebs ended the season with eight goals and 33 assists in 67 games played and was a +27, a far cry from his -58 a season prior. As a result, Krebs was named to the WHL’s Central Division’s second all-star team on March 28.
Monthly Score: 3.0
Krebs and the Medicine Hat Tigers faced the Winnipeg Ice in the first round of the WHL playoffs beginning March 31 in Winnipeg. They were eliminated in the first round.
Krebs was named the Tigers MVP on April 21. The Washington Capitals prospect came back to the Tigers and never missed a game, leading all Tigers defensemen in points, while owning one of the best plus/minus on the team playing all situations.
The honor of best defenseman was shared by two members of the Tigers, Team MVP Dru Krebs and Latvian defender and two time world junior Bogdans Hodass take home the hardware as both players logged Top 4 minutes all seasons and played in all situations. Both set career highs in points and were impact players in the defensive zone.
Krebs will need to be signed by the end of the season or the Capitals will lose his rights.
Monthly Score: 2.5
MONTHLY SCORE SUMMARY
Krebs will never be a huge point producer, but he does have a decent shot. His defense continues to improve, so it’s likely we’ve seen the ceiling for him.
Krebs remains in the gray area with regards to next step. The Capitals have more available contracts to utilize this off-season, so it’s conceivable Krebs signs an NHL contract, but it’s more likely he would sign an AHL deal with the Bears and spend next season in ECHL South Carolina.
By Jon Sorensen
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
2022-2023 Prospect Reviews And Forecasts
Off topic but another site had an article about Chandler Stephenson. Real nice article. Still kills me they chose to keep Eller over him.
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