Chris Drury pitched Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League to the 1989 Little League Baseball World Series championship as Little League celebrated its 50th anniversary season. Now, more than 20 years later, Mr. Drury hopes to be a part of another golden celebration as a member of the USA Men’s Hockey Team competing in the XXI Olympic Winter Games.
On Jan. 1, Mr. Drury was chosen to the 23-man roster that will represent the United States in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 16-28. Mr. Drury is one of three players with past Olympic experience, having played in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games. Mr. Drury’s teammates with prior Olympic experience are: Detroit’s Brian Rafalski (2002, 2006) and New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner (1998).
One of 12 forwards selected to the USA Men’s Hockey Team, Mr. Drury is a 10-year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran, spending the last two seasons as Captain of the New York Rangers. Since 1996, Mr. Drury has played in a several international ice hockey tournaments as a member of Team USA, tallying 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 46 games, including the ’02 and ’06 Winter Games.
In South Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 26, 1989, 12-year-old Chris Drury went to the mound at Howard J. Lamade Stadium to pitch the Championship Game of the 43rd Little League Baseball World Series versus Far East Region Champion Kang-Tu Little League from Chinese Taipei. With a 6-5 win, Mr. Drury and his Trumbull National Little League teammates ended a five-year losing streak for the United States, which included three straight defeats to teams from Chinese Taipei.
In the 1989 Series, Mr. Drury collected two pitching wins; and was 4-for-7 at the plate, with three singles, a double and three bases on balls.
Mr. Drury, who was enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence during the 2009 Little League Baseball World Series, played baseball throughout high school, graduating from Fairfield (Conn). Prep in 1994. During this time, he also was developing into an elite amateur hockey player, winning a youth championship at the age of 12, and later a state title while at Fairfield Prep.
Drafted out of high school by the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, Mr. Drury elected to attend Boston University (BU), where in 1995, as a freshman, he helped the Terriers win the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey National Championship. By the end of collegiate career, he was the first BU player to eclipse 100 goals and assists (113 and 100, respectively). As BU’s captain in 1998, Mr. Drury was recognized as the Hobey Baker Award winner.
Mr. Drury is the only player to be selected as college hockey’s best player and the NHL’s top rookie. Following the 2007 NHL season, Mr. Drury signed a free agent contract with the New York Rangers and chose to wear No. 23 in honor of his childhood hero, former New York Yankees first baseman, Don Mattingly. In October 2008, Mr. Drury was named Rangers’ Captain, the 25th in team history, and only the second U.S.-born player to be so honored.
The USA Men’s Hockey Team will begin its quest for a gold medal on Feb. 16 when it faces Switzerland at 3 p.m. EST. The team’s remaining pool games are scheduled for Feb. 18 against Norway; and Feb. 21 against Canada.
Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, with Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and John Tortorella, Mr. Drury’s head coach with the Rangers, serving as assistant coaches.