Wisconsin has received a verbal commitment from Delaney Drake, a forward from the North American Hockey Academy in Vermont. Drake announced the news on Twitter Monday afternoon.
Very honored to announce my commitment to the University of Wisconsin!!! #gobadgers— Delaney Drake (@Draker1017) September 8, 2014
Drake told Bucky's 5th Quarter she was also being recruited by Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota and Ohio State. Based on her other suitors, Drake appears to be a major recruiting win for the Badgers over WCHA and national rivals.
"I chose Wisconsin because I felt that everything from the campus, coaches and hockey fit to what my needs were," Drake said. "It's a dream come true that I get to go there."
Drake comes from strong hockey bloodlines, as her father, Dallas, played in over 1,000 NHL games for four teams. Dallas Drake finished his NHL career with 477 points, and was a two-year captain for the St. Louis Blues from 2005-07.
Dallas won an NCAA hockey championship as a player at Northern Michigan in 1991, and also captured a Stanley Cup in his 16th and final season in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.
A native of Traverse City, Michigan, Drake is a 2017 recruit, meaning that she's at least three years out from wearing a Wisconsin sweater. Drake is the Badgers second 2017 recruit, joining NAHA teammate Kyleigh Hanzlik from Wisconsin Rapids.
It's rare to recruit women's hockey players so early, but sometimes you have to make exceptions for special talent. Hanzlik and Drake are just two of four known recruits in the country committed for 2017.
As a freshman last season at the NAHA, Drake led the junior team in scoring with 63 points in 69 games and was an alternate captain. Hanzlik was second on that team in scoring with 61 points of her own. Both Drake and Hanzlik will play for the major team at the NAHA this season.
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