When Davis Drewiske was six years old, his mom decided to sign her sons up for hockey.
“It’s a funny story,” Drewiske said, laughing. “My dad was a wrestler and all his brothers were wrestlers, but he was out of town on business. While he was gone, my mom just decided she didn’t want anymore wrestlers in her family, so she took us and signed us up for hockey.”
Two decades later, the 27-year-old defenseman is about to enter his fifth season as an LA King.
Drewiske’s dream of playing in the NHL began to become a reality on April 1, 2008, the day the Kings signed him.
“It was really exciting. I was grateful to them because they were the only team that offered me an NHL contract,” he said. “It gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I thought it was a great organization and I thought I was getting in at a good time.”
He was born in Hudson, Wis., a city of a little more than 12,000 people, in a state home to the Green Bay Packers, one of Drewiske’s favorite teams.
“Always the Packers,” he said. “I was a North Star [fan] and the Wild too, because my hometown is on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense but I was always a Brewers and Twins fan even though they are somewhat rivals.”
In the fall of 2004, he attended the University of Wisconsin and majored in consumer affairs.
“It’s from the school of human ecology,” Drewiske said. “I didn’t get into the business school, so I picked the next-best thing.”
Drewiske has two more classes left to finish his degree. He plans on completing that degree soon.
“I think my mom is probably more excited then I am,” he said. “It will be good to have it done.”
While in college, Drewiske played on the school hockey team. During his sophomore year, they won the 2006 NCAA Championship.
“When we won, that was just an incredible experience. Just the whole year. We had a really good team and had a great season,” he said. “The fans were incredible and it was a dream come true.
“We played an outdoor game at Lambeau Field earlier in the season. The whole playoffs, we played our regional in Green Bay. The Frozen Four was in Milwaukee, so home ice advantage the whole way.”
By his junior year, Drewiske began thinking about the possibility of playing in the NHL. He battled to stay in the lineup and worked hard on getting stronger and faster on the ice.
“I think everyone wants to as a dream as a kid but I didn’t think it was very realistic,” he said. “I think probably my junior year was the first time I started thinking it could be an option.”
The first time he stepped on the ice as a King came in February 2009, during an away game against the Ottawa Senators. With his brother, Jacob, watching in the stands, Drewiske didn’t play much, only about 10 minutes, but the memory will always stay with him.
“It was fun—I just tried to keep it simple. It’s something most guys never forget,” he said. “It was a great experience.”
Off the ice, you’ll find him outdoors, spending time with his wife, Megan, whom he married in summer 2011.
“Summertime, I like to fish, canoe and camp and that kind of stuff—just anything outside.”
Although LA has nice weather and dozens of beaches, Drewiske is still a Wisconsin boy at heart.
“I think fall is my favorite time of year back at home, with the change of colors and cool nights and warm days,” he said. “Spring and fall is probably what I miss the most.
During the off-season, Drewiske and his wife live in Minnesota, close to both their families.
Even as a busy professional athlete, he is adamant about giving back to the community and to charitable causes, especially Huntington’s disease research and awareness. Several years ago, he found out his good friend’s father and brother were diagnosed with the disease.
“The last couple of years we’ve done a three-on-three youth hockey tournament in my hometown to help raise awareness,” he said. “We raised almost $40,000 so date so it’s something that’s close to me. Anything I can do for it, I’ll do anytime I can.”
To read a similar OFF THE ICE story by Sarah – this one featuring Alec Martinez -- click here