One of the most popular Prince George Cougars of all-time has come back home to join the Cougars staff. Prince George Cougars general manager Todd Harkins announced today that Cougars alumnus Nick Drazenovic (2002-2007) has been hired as the team’s director of player development effective immediately.
Drazenovic played 281 career games in the WHL (all with the Prince George Cougars). During that span he recorded 77 goals, 137 assists and 176 penalty minutes. His 214 career points ranks him seventh all-time in franchise scoring. Following his junior career Drazenovic, a 2005 sixth round pick of the St. Louis Blues graduated to the pro-ranks where he spent the next nine seasons. His pro career included 12 NHL games (with St. Louis, Columbus and Pittsburgh) and over 500 career games in the American Hockey League (Peoria, Springfield, Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton and San Antonio).
“I consider it a huge honor to be able to join my home town WHL team as the Director of Player Development,” said Nick Drazenovic who is joined in Prince George by his wife Billie and their baby boy Mikko. “I’m very grateful to the ownership group, Todd Harkins, Richard Matvichuk and the entire Cougars organization for giving me this opportunity to work in the greatest junior hockey league in the world.”
“This is a very important hire for our franchise,” adds Cougars General Manager Todd Harkins. “Nick will be responsible for developing our current roster players while also spending one-on-one time with our prospects. He will monitor their progress year-round to ensure that when their time comes to join our team full-time that they are ready to make an impact.”
“He’s played the game at the highest level and understands the development process and the sacrifice required to make it all the way to the National Hockey League from Prince George,” said Harkins. “He’s lived it first-hand, and his passion and experience are going to be very beneficial as he helps our players reach their NHL dreams. He will be a very welcomed addition to our Player Development team and we’re very happy to have him on board with the Prince George Cougars.”
Originally Drazenovic was selected 11th overall by the Cougars in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft. He won a silver medal with Team Pacific at the 2002 World Under-17 Championship and represented the Cougars in the 2005 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The B.C. Division leading Cougars kick off a two-game road trip this weekend starting tomorrow night in Kelowna against the Rockets. The Cougars will then face the Kamloops Blazers on Sunday before returning home for a three-game home stand which starts Tuesday, February 21st against the Red Deer Rebels. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the CN Centre and great tickets are still available HERE: https://www.ticketmaster.ca/Prince-George-Cougars-kets/artist/833514.