|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
195 lb (89 kg)
Los Angeles Kings
|Born||February 23, 1966,|
Peterborough, ON, CAN
|NHL Draft||40th overall, 1985|
|Pro Career||1986 – 2000|
John W. Druce (born February 23, 1966) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career[edit | edit source]
In Druce's first year of Junior eligibility, he played for the Peterborough Petes B squad. He made the Petes the next season and scored 12 goals in 54 games. Druce was on a checking line with future Capital teammate Rob Murray.
Drafted in 1985 by the Washington Capitals in the second round (40th overall), Druce had a couple of modest seasons before scoring 32 goals for the Binghamton Whalers of the AHL in 1987-88 season. He would not make the Capitals roster until the 1988–89 NHL season, where he was usually a fourth-line defensive specialist.
During the 1989–90 NHL season, his regular season statistics would continue to be unspectacular (8 goals in 45 games), but during the playoffs he exploded for 14 goals and helped guide the Capitals to their first semifinals appearance.
In the division semifinals versus the New Jersey Devils, Druce scored three goals in the six game series won by Washington, including two game winners. In the division finals versus the New York Rangers, Druce provided a shocking amount of offensive output. In game two of the series, Druce scored a hat trick, his first since midget hockey. Game three saw Druce tally two more goals and two assists. The Capitals needed this offensive production since their top scorer Dino Ciccarelli was injured.
Druce scored two goals in game four to lead the Capitals to a three games to one lead. In overtime of game five, Druce fended off a check by Ron Greschner and deflected Geoff Courtnall's shot over goalie John Vanbiesbrouck for a 2-1 series winning victory.
Capitals general manager David Poile said, "John Druce was not on the top of my list—anybody's list—to come through the way he did. He came out of nowhere to be the hero." Poile added, "He was not a top player in junior, not a top player in the minors. This is not only a good story today, but a good story for years to come."
At the time, Druce's total of nine goals in a playoff series put him in a five-way tie for third on the alltime list for goals scored in a playoff series, behind Jari Kurri (with 12, for the Edmonton Oilers in 1985) and Tim Kerr (with 10, for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1989).
Druce was unable to recapture that playoff magic by the time he was traded to the Winnipeg Jets in 1992. He would also play for the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers, and he would appear in the 1997 Stanley Cup finals with the Flyers team that took on the Detroit Red Wings. He would play two seasons in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga before retiring from active play.
In 531 NHL games, Druce scored 113 goals and 126 assists.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes;
|1993-94||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||55||14||17||31||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994-95||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||43||15||5||20||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995-96||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||64||9||12||21||14||—||—||—||—||—|
[edit | edit source]
- John Druce's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- John Druce's biography at Legends of Hockey
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