Waterloo Black Hawks center Jack Drury may not be the United States Hockey League’s most productive scorer, but he has been its most consistent, not just this season, but in the entire modern era of the league.
Drury has scored in 22 straight games, setting the record for the longest streak in the USHL during its USA Hockey Tier 1 era, which began in 2002.
The 18-year-old Harvard recruit from Winnetka, Illinois, set the record with two goals, including the game-winner in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He tied the mark in even more dramatic fashion the night before.
Drury was less than a minute from having the streak end one game shy of the record set by Mike Erickson of the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2003-04 and matched by Jake Guentzel of the Sioux City Musketeers in 2012-13.
On the power play, where he has done some of his best work, Drury won a faceoff. Ben Copeland moved the puck to team scoring leader Jackson Cates, who scored to lift the Black Hawks to a 2-1 win over the Green Bay Gamblers with 27 seconds left in overtime.
Beating the clock Feb. 9 was one of the fortunate moments Drury said have been necessary to keep the streak going.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates,” Drury said. “A good amount of [the points] was my teammates making great plays that I wasn’t super involved in. A couple of them were lucky, but I guess I’ll take them.”
Drury started his streak in November before going off to play in the World Junior A Challenge where he helped the U.S. Junior Select Team earn a silver medal and scored the team’s only goal in a 5-1 championship game loss to Canada West.
After arriving in the USHL as a 16-year-old and scoring just 12 points in 44 games as a rookie last season, it has been an eventful year for Drury. And, the next year figures to be one as well.
Drury has now played in three international events for Team USA, following his father, Ted Drury, and uncle, Chris Drury, in representing their country. Both played in the Olympic Winter Games.
“The most proud you can be as a hockey player is when you get to represent your country,” Jack Drury said. “Just getting to be one of the people that was representing USA was an honor for me, and I really hope I get to do it again.”
Next up for Jack is following both his parents as student-athletes at Harvard University. His mother, Liz (Berkery), played basketball and lacrosse for the Crimson.
“I’d say that in a lot of the mental aspects of the game, I do have a bit of an advantage in that my father and my mother both played sports at a high level and they’re able to help me out,” Jack Drury said. “If I’m in a rut or if I’m getting away from the process and becoming outcome-oriented, they can kind of help me get back on track and remind me it’s about the daily process.
“I think that kind of background of being able to help me out mentally has paid dividends.”
Drury’s consistency has helped him rise to seventh in the league scoring race with 15 goals and 25 assists in 36 games. He is tied for second in the USHL in power-play assists (14), tied for fifth in power-play goals (eight) and tied for sixth in game-winning goals (six).
“He’s a great kid,” said P.K. O’Handley, Black Hawks coach. “He knows who he is as a player and brings that every single day. It’s a great trait and it’s why he has been having such a good year.
“He consistently does all the right things in practice and in games.”
While trying to help the Black Hawks, who are second in the Western Conference at 25-11-3-1, prepare for the stretch run, Drury is also trying to continually improve his own game.
The grueling process of trying to constantly develop slight improvements in speed is often on his mind.
“I just keep working on my speed and the edge work,” Drury said. “So much of the game these days is speed.
“ … I’ll just continue to work on my edges in practice and the quick cuts in the corners and things like that.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc. Photo courtesy of Hickling Images.