True stories and hard-won lessons about a life of hockey, from a Stanley Cup champion and top analyst.
“I was unconscious before I hit the ice. The fight happened in New York, where just three years before I’d won the Stanley Cup with the Rangers. And now, I was literally fighting to keep my job with the Toronto Maple Leafs, to prove I could help my team. I didn’t know it, but my playing career was about to end.”
As a child growing up in Toronto, Nick Kypreos lived for hockey and dreamed of following in his idols’ footsteps to play in the NHL. Hockey was an important part of the Kypreos household. It was largely through the game that his immigrant Greek parents acclimatized to their new lives in Canada, and from a young age “Kyper” proved he was more than good enough to move through the ranks. But he was never a top prospect—he didn’t even attend the NHL draft when he became eligible. And yet, through dedication and constant improvement, he made it to the show.
Kypreos built a career on his tireless work ethic and made a name for himself for always having a positive influence on team morale. A medium-weight fighter, he squared off with the league’s toughest players, including Scott Stevens—anything to give his team an edge. Ultimately, he was brought to the New York Rangers to help them win the Stanley Cup in 1994—their first in 54 years—with the legendary Mark Messier. And then he got to live his other dream: playing for his hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
When a concussion forced him to retire early, it changed his life. But the lessons he’d learned on the ice over eight seasons helped build a new career as a top hockey analyst and personality for Sportsnet. For twenty seasons he provided unique insight on the evolving game, and a player’s perspective on the biggest discussions of the day.
Revealing, fun, and brutally honest, Undrafted shows the challenges of being a pro player. It’s a story of the resilience it takes to prove yourself every night, and how the right attitude can lead to the greatest success, not only in the arena, but in life.
Nick Kypreos is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey left winger who played eight seasons in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Following his retirement from the NHL in 1997, he became a top hockey analyst for Sportsnet over a 19-year broadcasting career. Connect with him on Twitter @RealKyper.