Drew Iannucci had such a fun time winning a USPHL Premier Championship last year with the Charlotte Rush, he came back to try and do it all over again. In the process of returning with the Rush, he was also able to seal up his NCAA hockey future, as he has committed to Arcadia University for 2022-23.
“Well, first off it was amazing to win at the National level and share that experience with the entire Rush organization. The biggest impact was being a part of that team, where there was so much talent and everyone knew their role and how to win,” said the 2001-born native of Lincoln University, Pa. “Charlotte's coaches taught me leadership, patience and commitment and most of all ‘buying in’ to the entire process.”
The process with Arcadia began right after playing his first games with the Rush in October 2020.
“I first spoke with Coach [Vincent] Pietrangelo last year after my first junior hockey game in October and have been talking with him pretty consistently about becoming a Knight,” said Iannucci, who has a total of 37 points in 46 regular season games with Charlotte. He also registered two assists in six playoff games last year, including three Nationals games.
“Coach Pietrangelo complimented me on being a goal-scorer, my ability to create opportunities with the puck on my stick and also making an impact on the ice right away,” added Iannucci. “I am hoping to complement their roster and continue that consistency at the next level.”
There are currently four former Rush players on the inaugural Arcadia roster this season - Pallen Brooks, Miles Read and Cam Parrott were alongside Iannucci in winning the Premier title; additionally, Hunter Price helped the Elite team win the matching “double dip” title. He’s looking forward to the big reunion next year at his new home north of Philadelphia.
“I really like the size of the campus and open space between buildings. The academic buildings are close to each other and the library is incredible and of course having a castle on your campus very cool,” said Iannucci, who will major in Criminal Justice. “Growing up, I played at Hatfield Ice so many times and it is awesome to see all the upgrades made to the facility to make it an NCAA rink. The Kuch Athletic Center is state of the art and will be a huge part of my campus life.”
Iannucci had plans to play Tier II hockey last year, but both teams he originally lined up with canceled their seasons.
“My advisor felt the Rush would be a better fit [than a different Tier III team]. Right from the start, I loved the culture and the way the coaching staff ran the team on and off the ice,” said Iannucci. “Everything is run top notch and to a higher level and expectation, which helped me grow my game and become a better player, teammate and person.”
More than a year later, Iannucci can clearly see many levels of improvement across the board.
“My defensive zone play has become stronger and I’m playing on the penalty kill,” said Iannucci. “I’m more confident to shoot the puck because I always thought I was better being an assist player and Coach [Troy Schwab] kept telling me to shoot as much as I pass. I definitely will keep up my shot work and strengthen my defensive zone positioning as well as building up my physical play for the next level.”
The USPHL congratulates Drew Iannucci, his family, the Charlotte Rush and Arcadia University for his commitment.