Weather Forecast


Drewiske lends former team a hand

Former Raider and current Montreal Canadiens player Davis Drewiske directs members of the Raider hockey team during warm-ups of one the team's off-season workouts on July 24 at the Hudson Sports & Civic Center.

Last winter former Raider Davis Drewiske spent plenty of time skating with Hudson's boys' hockey team while waiting for the National Hockey League player lockout to end.

There is no lockout this season, and Drewiske has since been traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the Montreal Canadiens, where he reports for training camp on Sept. 11. But he managed to squeeze in one day last week to help out his former high school teammate Brooks Lockwood at a Raider offseason workout.

Under WIAA guidelines, high school teams are allowed five days of unrestricted contact each summer, ending no later than July 31. Lockwood, entering his second season as Raider head coach, chose last week to take advantage of the rule.

"We like to do it towards the end of the summer," he said. "We work on team building and at the end we have a little tournament with a trophy to let them have some fun."

Lockwood, Drewiske and Raider assistant coach Ben Bosworth were all teammates on the Raiders' 2001 state championship team and Drewiske went on to win a NCAA national championship with the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2006 before getting his name on the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012.

Drewiske, who lives in Minneapolis during the offseason, said he's happy to come back and help out his old team.

"I helped Brooks and Boz last year during the lockout and had a great time with it," he said. "They have great players here who are eager to learn. They have the skills; they have the talent; they won a conference championship last year, I think they're doing a great job."

Drewiske signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kings in 2008 and played five seasons with the team before being traded to the Canadiens in exchange for a fifth round draft pick last April.

In nine games with the Canadiens, Drewiske registered three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and averaged 16:49 of ice time per game, which included significant time on the penalty kill (2:16 average).

The 28-year-old, who has played in 135 career regular-season games, said he's excited about his opportunity in Montreal.

"It's always great to have a job," he said. "It's a great city and a great organization, and I'm looking forward to building on last year. I think it's a great opportunity for me there. It's a good system with good players. They finished second in the Eastern Conference last year and I'm looking forward to this year."

Drewiske said he noticed a big difference playing in Montreal compared to Los Angeles.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm from the fans," he said. "There were great fans in LA too but it was much different. There's a lot more going on in LA. In Montreal, the Canadiens are the big ticket, and the fans are passionate and knowledgeable."

Lockwood and the Raiders also hosted their youth camp last week, hosting players from age 8 through 14 each night after the high school team's practice. He said Hudson was fortunate to have people like former Olympian Karyn Bye-Dietz and Drewiske stop by and help.

"It's great," he said. "Karyn Bye was here Monday for the youth camp and Davis came out today, and they don't ask for a thing. It's great to have that sort of support from people like that."

For his part, Drewiske said he's not surprised his former teammate Lockwood guided the Raiders to a Big Rivers Conference championship in his first season.

"He always was very driven and focused and detail-oriented, and those are all great things to have in a coach," Drewiske said. "And he's done a great job with the youth program. He understands, the better the youth program is, the better the high school team will be."

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066