Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Ducks’ Zegras: “I’m not one to get bogged down by the outside noise”


Roommates Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale of the Ducks had supplies for the long afternoon ahead of them on Sunday at Honda Center.

Water bottles for hydration.

Sharpie Pens for signing.

For three hours, they signed autographs and squeezed out a few words here and there as the long line kept moving. The meet-and-greet event with the two players was sparked by their new jersey numbers for this upcoming season with Zegras, switching to No. 11 from No. 46 and Drysdale moving to No. 6 from No. 34. “I’ve always worn No. 11 – worn it my whole life,” Zegras said.

The line snaked through the Honda Center corridors and spilled outside around the arena. Apparently, the earliest arrivals showed up just after 4 in the morning to queue.

Zegras brought his usual charisma to the proceedings and temporarily tabled his anxiety about the performance of his two NFL fantasy football teams. The (usually) unflappable defenseman, Drysdale, was tested when he was asked by a couple if he wanted to hold their baby (Dominic, all of two months) for a picture.

 

“It’s terrifying,” said Drysdale, chuckling. “I have no clue how it looked but it probably looked so awkward. I didn’t know how to hold it. I was struggling. It was pretty funny when they said, ‘Do you want to hold the baby?’ I said, ‘You’re going to trust me with your baby?’ They had a lot of trust in me.”

There were lesser challenges for the duo. Zegras looked at a big homemade sign by a fan, advertising to share season tickets and said, “Where do you want me to sign? I don’t want to mess it up.”

Zegras did his share of listening from the fans while signing.

You’re the future of hockey brother.”

“I’m trying to do the Zegras in my league …it’s not working.”

So about that future. With all eyes on Zegras, how does he manage expectations after a headline-making rookie season? The 21-year-old center had 23 goals and 61 points in 75 games this past season, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting to Moritz Seider of the Detroit Red Wings, who led rookie defensemen in assists (43) and points (50).

“I feel expectations just mean pressure,” Zegras said. “I try not to think about that stuff. You just go out there and do the best you can. I know what I’m capable of. And I’m not going to let anybody try to put extra pressure on me because I feel that’s just a recipe for disaster.



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