I was born and raised in St. Catharines Ontario and grew up in a hockey family. My three Uncles, Brian, Barry and Raymond Cullen, along with my cousin John Cullen all played in the NHL and had successful careers. It was safe to say hockey was in my blood, but I never dreamed where hockey would take me. What started as playing house league as a child, led to years playing AAA Hockey in St. Catharines. At the age of 15 I was dealt a blessing in disguise when I was released by the St. Catharines Junior B Falcons. I followed my old coach to Thorold where I played for the Thorold Junior B Blackhawks for three years. During my final year playing for Thorold I was given many different opportunities to attend Division 1 Schools on Full Hockey Scholarships, and decided on University of Maine Orono. I attended The University of Maine for 4 years on full scholarship, playing for their Men’s Division 1 Hockey Team. My senior year I was Captain of the NCAA National Championship Team, was an NCAA First Team All American, was named to the Hockey East First All Star Team, and the Championship All-Tournament Team. It was after winning this Championship that I signed my first NHL contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.
For the next 2 ½ years (1999-2002) I played for both the Phoenix Coyotes and their AHL team, Springfield Falcons. In 2002 I was assistant captain for the Springfield Falcons. In January of 2002 I was acquired by the Minnesota Wild of the NHL and played with Minnesota and their AHL affiliate, Houston Aeros, for the next year and a half. In 2003 I won the Calder Cup Championship with the Houston Aeros.
In 2003 I signed with the Buffalo Sabres organization, where I spent the next three years playing in the AHL for the Rochester Americans. I served as assistant captain for Rochester in 2005-2006.
I then spent one year in Dusseldorf Germany playing in the Elite German league, one half season playing in the Elite Swedish league for Farjestad, FBK, one half season playing with the Columbus Bluejackets NHL organization for the Syracuse Crunch, and finally 2 years in the Austrian Elite League playing for the Graz 99er’s.
By the age of 33, the game of hockey had taken me to live in 10 different cities, in 5 different countries. I had the opportunity to play for and learn from well known coaches such as Shawn Walsh, Grant Standbrook, Todd McLellan, Jacques Lemaire, Lindy Ruff, Randy Cunneyworth, Greg Cronin, Doug Houda, and Ron Wilson, among many others. My years of hockey experience and accomplishments have taught me many things, especially what it takes to make it and compete at the highest level. My goal is to pass on my knowledge to future players who wish to dream big and work hard to make those dreams come true.
In 2001 I married my wife Alyssa, and we now have 3 young boys, all of whom already seem to share the same passion for hockey that I do.
After retiring in 2010 from the game, I attended Medaille in Buffalo NY where I earned my Masters in Education. In May of 2011 I was hired by the Niagara Catholic School Board.
I am the Power Skating and Skill Development Coach for Niagara on the Lake Minor Hockey, run skill development and shooting clinic skates on my own, and also for St. Catharines, Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls Travel Teams.
- Played Minor Hockey in St. Catharines ON
- Played Jr B for Thorold Blackhawks 1992-1995
- 1995 Earned a 4 year full hockey scholarship to University of Maine Orono. Division 1 Men’s Hockey.
- 1995-1999 Played Division 1 College Hockey for University of Maine Orono.
- 1998-1999 NCCA First Team All American
- 1998-1999 Hockey East First All Star Team
- 1998-1999 Championship All- Tournament Team
- 1998-1999 Captain of National Championship UMaine Men’s Hockey Team
- 1998-1999 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey National Champion
- 1999 Signed with the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL
- 1999-2002 Played with the Phoenix Coyotes Organization for both the Phoenix Coyotes and the AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons
- Served as Assistant Captain Springfield Falcons of AHL 2002
- Jan 2002 Acquired by Minnesota Wild of the NHL. Played 1 ½ year for Minnesota Wild of the NHL and their AHL affiliate Houston Aeros
- June 2003 Won Calder Cup Championship with Houston Aeros
- July 2003 Signed with Buffalo Sabres. Played next three years (2003- 2006) with the Buffalo Organization for their AHL affiliate, Rochester Americans
- Served as Assistant Captain of Rochester Americans 2005-2006
- 2006-2007 Played for Dusseldorf Metro Stars in Elite German League
- 2007-2008 Played half season for Farjestad FBK of Swedish Elite League, and half season with Columbus Bluejackets Organization for Syracuse Crunch of the AHL
- 2008-2010 Played for Graz 99er’s of the Austrian Elite League
- 2010-2011 Attended Medaille College and obtained Master’s in Education
- 12 years teaching with the Niagara Catholic District School Board.
- 12 years running Power Skating and Skill Development for Niagara on the Lake Minor Hockey
- 2013/2014 & 2014/2015 Head Coach to NOTL Wolves BB Pee Wee Team
- 2012/2013 Head Coach to NOTL Atom BB team
- 2013/2014 & 2014/2015 Assistant Coach to Niagara on the Lake Atom BB team
- 2014/2016 Head Coach 04 STA AAA, Head Coach NOTL Bantam AE
- 2017/2019 Head Coach 04 Niagara North Stars
- Power Skating and Skill Development Coaching in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Southern Tier, Fort Erie, Stoney Creek, Hamilton and more REP level teams.
- 12 years running 3 on 3 spring hockey in the Niagara Region
- 12 years owner and operator of David Cullen Hockey