NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Robertson Cup-winning forward David Marabella becomes the tenth Brahma this season to commit to an NCAA program, signing his Letter of Intent with the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
“It’s a great feeling (to be committed) and I think MSOE is going to be a great balance between athletics and education. I’m very excited about what the next four years have in store for me,” Marabella said.
The Clovis, California skater played 110 NAHL games and scored 25 points. He is now preparing for his new journey in the fall. The Colorado Thunderbirds U18 product embraced a large defensive role for the Brahmas throughout his career and developed into a strong two-way player.
“I think ‘Bella bought into a role that he started to feel comfortable with after Christmas. Once he did that I thought he really helped us as a group and he put the team in a situation where we could win,” head coach Dan Wildfong said.
Marabella was arguably the Brahmas best shot blocking and penalty killing forward this season. He scored half of the team’s shorthanded goals and logged a handful of minutes with the power play unit.
The Brahmas finished best in the South Division with an 85% kill during the regular season. In a microcosm of some of the things he does best, Marabella notably blocked three consecutive shot attempts while on the penalty kill in the third period of the Championship Game.
“He really bought in to being a good penalty killer. He loves faceoffs and winning draws. Those guys are invaluable. Nobody gives them as much credit as the guys who score goals and get all the points, but you need guys like David Marabella to win a championship,” Wildfong said.
Marabella accomplished all he could at the junior level — winning a championship and earning a college commitment.
“Words can’t describe the feeling of playing your last year of juniors and going out as a champion,” Marabella added.
“I think the biggest thing I learned from Dan was the importance of details combined with work ethic. He is by far the most detail-oriented coach I have ever had and that’s a big reason we won it all.”
Marabella brought energy to the Brahmas lineup and proved that he could play alongside anyone. Don’t let his junior point totals fool you, he has a plus shot, regularly gets pucks on net and has a high hockey IQ. In his T1EHL career, Marabella averaged well over a point per weekend.
“I expect him to have a great career in Milwaukee and I think he’s going to be a big part of their program too,” Wildfong said. “He knows how to play the right way and I think you’re going to see a little more offensive upside, too, with David in college and he’ll get that opportunity, but he knows how to play a 200-foot game which is awesome.”
The 5-foot-10, 180 pound forward is prepared to study either biomedical or biomolecular engineering, so he is in good hands at one of the best engineering schools in the country. On the ice, Marabella is ready to elevate his game to the next level.
“I hope to be a big impact player, playing a lot of minutes in all situations and really boosting my offensive production. I feel that I can take my game to an even higher level and I think the NAHL experience has prepared me well.”