Kris Draper was a 20-year veteran in the NHL, and Jamie Langenbrunner played for 18 seasons. On Wednesday, they shared a remarkable moment for any hockey parent: the chance to select their own sons in the NHL draft.
The Detroit Red Wings and Draper, their director of amateur scouting, selected his 18-year-old son, Kienan Draper, a right wing with the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs, in the seventh round (187th overall).
The Boston Bruins and Langenbrunner, their director of player development, selected his 18-year-old son, Mason Langenbrunner, a defenseman for Sioux City in the USHL, in the fifth round (151st overall).
"He didn't get my approval or ask for my approval. A couple of our scouts that followed Kienan were pushing pretty hard," Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said. "Kris and I had a conversation about it recently, and initially I asked if he was sure he wanted to put his son in that position."
Draper is a Red Wings legend, having played 17 seasons in Detroit and won the Stanley Cup four times. Yzerman said Draper's obligation is "to do what's best for the Detroit Red Wings, and I know that he did that."
Jamie Langenbrunner never played for the Bruins, but he won Stanley Cups with the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils before finishing in 2012-13 with the St. Louis Blues. He's in his fifth season with Boston management.
Mason Langenbrunner told the media that he had a feeling that the Bruins were going to select him. "I had some really good interviews with them," he said via The Sports Hub. "They said it's not because of who my dad is but because we love you as a player and believe in your upside."
The 2020 NHL draft was held remotely, with teams selecting players from their socially distanced "war rooms" and interviews being done via Zoom. But Mason Langenbrunner mentioned that he appeared on a draft stage with the Bruins once before, coming up with GM Don Sweeney and coach Bruce Cassidy when Boston selected defenseman Urho Vaakanainen in 2017 in Chicago.
Yzerman said that despite the family ties, it's all about finding the right players for scouts in the NHL Draft.
"None of them are going to pick a name just because it's somebody's son or somebody's friend," he said. "Their jobs are on the line."