WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced details on a trade. Wheeling has acquired defenseman David Drake from the Reading Royals, as part of the future considerations in the deal which originally sent defenseman Patrick McNally to Reading.
Drake, 26, is playing in his third full season of professional hockey, having spent the majority of his career with the Royals. David turned pro at the end of his senior season of college, and proceeded to join the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, as he appeared in seven regular season contests and one playoff game to close out 2017-18. The blueliner then played the next two seasons in Reading, and accumulated 22 points in 108 games. Drake finished the 2019-20 season with a +7 rating, and was counted on by the Royals in key defensive situations. After sitting out last season, David returned to Reading to start this year, and contributed two assists and a +1 rating in 18 contests, in addition to one game with the AHL's Providence Bruins.
Prior to turning pro, the Naperville, Illinois native played four seasons of college hockey at the University of Connecticut. Drake suited up in 125 games for the Huskies, and notched four goals, 21 assists, and 25 points. However, the statistic that stood out for David at UConn was his 177 blocked shots, as he averaged over a block per game in all four years. Drake also played two seasons of junior hockey with the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013.
Wheeling fans will have to wait a bit before seeing Drake in action, as he has signed a professional tryout with the AHL's Rochester Americans.
The Nailers will close out the 2021 calendar year with their traditional New Year's Eve game, which takes place on Friday at 6:10 against the Norfolk Admirals. That game features a Gatsby theme, a light stick giveaway courtesy of Unified Bank, and a Frosty Friday with $2 beers. Season memberships, single game tickets, and holiday packages are available, and fans can get more information by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.