Detroit Red Wings from the vault: Centerman Kris Draper

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

In the latest edition of from the vault, take a look at former Detroit Red Wings centerman, Kris Draper, and his time before joining the front office.

The Detroit Red Wings Director of amateur scouting, Kris Draper, is a twenty-year veteran of the National Hockey League (NHL). He would spend seventeen of those seasons with the Red Wings organization as a centerman, some these even alongside Steve Yzerman.

Nowadays, the two have been reunited in the front office, with Yzerman taking over the General Manager (GM) with Draper maintaining his title as scouting director. Draper spent the first three years of his career in the Winnipeg Jets organization.

In the 1990-91 season, Draper broke onto the scene with the Jets, playing three games, he would only play 20 during his tenure with the Jets organization. In 1993 things changed when the Red Wings acquired him for future considerations.

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From the 1993-94 season until the 2010-11 season, Draper would don the winged wheel jerseys, as number “33”, anchoring down the third line for years. Over his seventeen seasons with the Red Wings, he would amass 1137 total games.

During those 1137 games, he scored 158 goals, tallied 203 assists, for a total of 361 points while being a plus-78 on his career.

Draper’s best statistical season came in 2003-04 when he would put up 40 points in the form of 24 goals and 16 assists in only 67 games played.

That performance paired with his overall play would earn Draper the Selke Award on the season for the best defensive skillset for forwards.

On top of his regular-season performances, Draper would make appearances in all seventeen seasons with the Red Wings.

Draper was a four-time Stanley Cup Champion during his career with the Red Wings. He would win cups in 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, and 2007-08 with the Red Wings, which was the last four times the Red Wings have won the cup.

As his career started to wind down, Draper was the third line centerman who won draws, being above 50% in all of the seasons the stat is available from, starting in 2007-08. Draper played a specific role with this Red Wings team, and he did a fantastic job doing so.

He was never the touted scoring threat, rather the third line centerman on an incredibly talented era of Red Wings teams. Without the dirty hit by Claude Lemieux on Draper, they may not be an act of revenge by Darren McCary that makes March 26, 1997,  a special day each year for Red Wings fans.

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The Detroit Red Wings has been home for Draper since 1993 when he was acquired, but since his playing days, he has stuck with the organization in a new front-office role.