Kris Draper was a third-round pick (62nd overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounds center played 20 games over three seasons for the Jets before a trade to Detroit on June 30, 1993. Draper spent the next 17 seasons donning the winged wheel in the Motor City and played an integral part in four Stanley Cup championship runs (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008). He became a fixture in the Red Wings lineup during the 1993-94 season and played the pivot on the ‘Grind Line’, one of the most revered lines in Red Wings history. The Toronto, Ontario, native enjoyed the best season of his career in 2003-04 when he registered a career-high 24 goals and 40 points in 67 games and captured the 2004 Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
On February 2, 2009, Draper became just the 235th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 career games. Six weeks later he became just the fifth player in team history to play 1,000 games in a Red Wings sweater, joining Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom. Draper never missed the playoffs during his 17 seasons with Detroit and appeared in 220 postseason games for the Red Wings, second in club history behind Lidstrom (263). In total, Draper appeared in 1,157 regular-season games, 222 postseason contests (ninth all-time in NHL history) and made six trips to the Stanley Cup finals during his career. He served as an assistant captain for the Red Wings over his final five seasons. Draper is currently working in Detroit’s front office as a special assistant to Red Wings GM Ken Holland.