Islanders defenseman Hunter Drew is turning pro.
The 20 year-old defenseman has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the San Diego Gulls, the American Hockey League affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks, the team who drafted Drew 178th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’ll join former Islanders teammate Alex Dostie in San Diego.
“I’m so excited.” Drew said with a smile on his face.
Drew said that he first learned of the news following Charlottetown’s Game 6 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Once things settled down head coach Jim Hulton gave him the word that he’d be heading to California.
“Jim was just as excited as I was,” said Drew regarding his head coach. “That says a lot about him and how much he cares about us.”
Drew has long credited Hulton with helping him unlock the potential that made him an NHL draft pick, and that didn’t change when discussing the opportunity that lies ahead of him.
“The support that he’s given me to get me to this point is incredible,” said Drew. “He, Guy, and Brad have really pushed me to get to this point, so it’s really exciting to hear.”
Drew leaves for San Diego on Thursday, April 4th. The Gulls have four more games remaining in their regular season, with their next game being Friday, April 5th against the Ontario Reign. While it’s possible Drew could make his debut in that game, their game against former Islander Antoine Bibeau and the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday, April 10th appears to be a more realistic target.
From all of us at the Charlottetown Islanders, we want to wish Hunter the best of luck in the next step of his hockey career!