In February 2017 the Prince George Cougars made the decision to hire alumnus Nick Drazenovic as their new Director of Player Development. A veteran of over 500 AHL games and 12 NHL games, Drazenovic is thrilled to start a new career with the team he grew up cheering for and playing for. Here are five questions with Cougars Director of Player Development, Nick Drazenovic!
Prince George, B.C.
January 14, 1987
Question 1: Tell us about your first few months in your new role as Director of Player Development?
ND: At first it was a big learning curve, trying to figure out exactly what I can truly best provide to the organization. Now it’s taken off as far as reaching out and getting to know all of the players within our organization and being a resource for everybody. I am currently running off-ice training for local Prince George hockey players, including some of our prospects and I’m really enjoying this side of the game.
Question 2: Tell us something about the new role that might surprise some people?
ND: I think what would surprise people is how committed current players are in the off-season to be prepared for the upcoming season. Everyone that I’ve talked to is in shape, and everyone has the potential to be an elite player in the WHL. It’s about honing in on their skills and helping them reach their goals. It’s a lot of hard work but our players and prospects are all willing to put in the work.
Question 3: Tell us about your NHL debut?
ND: It was in St. Louis in 2011 against Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators. I had been called up a couple of times prior but hadn’t gotten into the lineup. So this time when I was fortunate enough to make it into the lineup I remember standing on the bench for the national anthem, looking around and thinking: “I really did it. I made the NHL.” Having committed my life to a goal and to then reach that goal it still gives me chills just thinking and talking about it.
Question 4: Favorite Road Trip Meal in the Pro’s?
ND: My favorite road trip meal is 100 percent when you’re in the NHL. It’s not your average meal when you’re in the NHL. The team treats you to five-star meals. That being said when David Backes signed his new deal (at the time) with St. Louis he took a bunch of us to a very fancy restaurant. I’ll always remember that meal. We had steak, we had lobster, we had everything, you name it! It’s amazing how much the boys can eat when they know it’s on somebody else’s tab! Thanks David!
Question 5: When you’re in your truck by yourself. You’ve got a long stretch of highway and nobody else in sight. What song are you blaring to the max, and singing the loudest while you drive?
ND: I guess this question turns into a question: How much coffee have I consumed so far during the day? The answer to this question has recently changed since the birth of my son. Quiet time has never felt so good so it would be something quieter right now. But if I’m three double-doubles in I would say anything by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I like “Otherside” or “Californication.”