By JAMES TUBB on October 9, 2021.
It was an unbelievable experience for Dru Krebs at NHL training camp.
The Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman took part in his first professional camp with the Washington Capitals, who drafted him in July 176th overall.
“It was the dream come true being able to play against those NHL superstars like, Ovechkin, Oshie and all those guys that I’ve looked up to my entire life,” Krebs said.
Krebs said being around the NHL guys, the presence they bring and their work ethic was a statement that stuck with him. He did talk cars and being in the NHL with some Captials regulars like John Carlson and Anthony Mantha. Krebs is a bit of a car guy, but sourced his brother for his knowledge.
“My brother is a bigger car guy, I learned a few things from him. So I was able to add that into the conversation,” he said.
Krebs says there are a lot of nice cars he’d consider but that an Audi RS7 would be one of his dream cars. The Okotoks product was joined in Washington by Tigers netminder Garin Bjorklund, a 2020 179th overall pick of the Capitals. The 19-year-old says having a teammate at NHL camp was comforting.
“Being able to have another guy on your side that you know and you can talk to and share this experience with, can come back and lean on each other for a guidance kind of support,” Krebs said.
“I think that’s huge, you have a teammate, I know Garin quite well and we’re good buddies. It was unbelievable to see him there aspiring to his dream and then me also going for my dream as well.”
Krebs has become a big part of the Tigers back end this season as Medicine Hat moved veteran defenseman Eric Van Impe on Thursday. The Tabbies had four over agers and Van Impe was the man to be moved, leaving a hole on the blue line. Coming back with that NHL experience, Krebs has a chance to play big minutes alongside overager Daniel Baker.
He says he brings the lesson of embracing consistency and showing up to be ready to play from the older guys in the NHL.
“There’s a few other little pointers I’ll bring along that I think these guys know a lot of the stuff I learned. It’s the adding to it and bringing it out aloud and saying it aloud that brings it to them,” Krebs said.
The Tigers stumbled out of the gate, dropping their opening series against the Swift Current Broncos and falling to 0-2 to start the season. Krebs says they need to just be confident in their games and the results will come.
“I think you just have to come in with confidence that you’re going to win instead of not trying to lose,” he said. “So I think when you want to win then you’re going to go play as hard as you can no matter the opponent and not take into your mind that, these teams are better or worse than Swift Current and we lost to them.”