Although born in California, David Roberts earned his hockey stripes at the University of Michigan. During his four-year stint on campus he was twice selected as a CCHA Second-Team All-Star and he made the NCAA West Second All-American team in 1991.
Upon his graduation, Roberts joined the U.S. National Team for a season, culminating in a trip to the Olympics in 1994. He then turned pro immediately after the Games. With his playing rights owned by the St. Louis Blues, Roberts was sent to the Peoria Rivermen of the IHL to finish out their season. He was then brought up for a brief taste of playoff action with the Blues to close out an eventful year.
But at the start of the 1994-95 campaign, it became apparent that navigating his way through the big leagues wouldn't be as easy as it was in college hockey. Roberts struggled to catch on with the Blues, picking up only a handful of games between trips to the minors. In 1996, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers who kept him around for six games and then released him at the close of the season.
The following year, Roberts gave his career one more shot by signing as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks. His first campaign with the team was his best. He scored 27 points in 58 games, finishing the year at a +11. But at the start of the next season, he lost his touch and was sent to play with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
Roberts then returned closer to home, skating for the Michgan K-Wings and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL until his retirement in 2001.