Wightlink Raiders are delighted to announce that experienced defenceman Vaclav Drabek will be the team’s second import for the 2016-2017 season.
The 6 foot blue liner has spent most of his 20 year senior career playing in his native Czech Republic but did spend the season before last with London Raiders where he made his mark as one of the best defenders in the league. His stats of 22 goals and 13 assists made him the highest scoring defenceman in the NIHL and he also clocked up 106 penalty minutes in his 41 games in this country. He was also named in the ProHockey News team of the year.
Drabek has agreed to join his fellow countryman Jaroslav Cesky at Ryde Arena next season and the two will bring huge experience to an otherwise young team. Head coach Jeremy Cornish says he was considering signing two import forwards but has opted to go for a hugely experienced defenceman who he knows will chip in with points as well.
“ Vaclav is a player I really liked a couple seasons ago in London, he was their best player that season and can play forward when needed. He is also a older player and one that has played in some very competitive leagues over the years.
Our defence is very young and I’m hoping our current defence will learn and grow with him leading from back there.
When looking for an import to replace me, it was important that I found someone who knows our rink and the style of hockey I like to play. Vaclav knows what I am expecting this year, knows the rink and I think people will be pleasantly surprised with what he will bring to our team.
As everyone knows defencemen are hard to find and Vaclav will be able to log a lot of minutes against other team’s top lines as well as provide offence and we haven’t received much offence from our defence over the last couple of seasons.”