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BCHL Next Generation: Wenatchee Wild

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2021-22 regular season, we will be going team-by-team to profile new players coming in for the upcoming year. This will include recaps of offseason commitments and acquisitions, as well as scouting reports from the coaches.

Next up is the Wenatchee Wild.

The Wenatchee Wild experienced a lost season last year as they were forced to take a hiatus due to the closure of the American-Canadian border. That means they did not get to participate in the extended training camp season in the fall or the pod season in the spring.

Once it was announced they were taking a hiatus, the Wild staff got right to work recruiting for the 2021-22 season, knowing they were essentially starting fresh.

Wenatchee’s director of scouting and recruiting is Leigh Mendelson and he played a large part in reconstructing the team’s roster. Instead of providing a scouting report for all 24 players, he expressed his appreciation for the more veteran junior players all at once, while giving us a closer look at the younger, fresher faces.

“[Head] coach [Chris] Clark, [general manager] Bliss [Littler] and myself spent a lot of time over the past 14 months working to ensure that the young players we brought in have really good role models on and off the ice,” said Mendelson of his more experienced players. “We feel that this group, not only brings a ton of junior hockey experience and productivity on the scoresheet, but are all high-character young men that will help our large group of young players adapt to junior hockey.”

New recruits

Quinn Emerson (2001, F)

  • Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
  • Previous team: Lone Star Brahmas (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Bowling Green State University (2022-23)

The son of former NHL player Nelson Emerson, Quinn is one of two players returning to the Wild who played for them in the 2019-20 campaign. That year, he had 16 points in 53 games. Last season, he played with Lone Star of the North American Hockey League and had two goals and three assists in 34 games. Emerson was also invited to Los Angeles Kings development camp this past summer.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We’re thrilled to have Quinn back after us not playing last year. We feel that he has really developed well over the last two seasons, on and off the ice. We expect him to be productive on the scoresheet and to be the leader of our team.”

Cade Littler (2004, F)

  • Hometown: East Wenatchee, Wash.
  • Previous team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 16U AAA (16U AAA)

Cade is the son of former Wild head coach and the team’s current general manager Bliss Littler. The younger Littler was the Coyotes’ second-leading scorer last year with 16 points in 17 games and his eight assists were the most on the team. He also spent time with the U.S. National Team Development Program last year, suiting up for six games. Littler got his feet wet in the BCHL back in 2019-20 when he played two games with the Wild as an affiliate.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We’ve had the chance to watch Cade grow up here. It’s really special that he’s going to get the opportunity to play for his father’s organization. He’s a very intelligent player with really good skill and offensive instincts. We’re excited to see how playing at the BCHL level helps shape his all-around game.”

Cade Stibbe (2001, F)

  • Hometown: Fargo, N.D.
  • Previous team: Minot Minotauros (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Arizona State University (2022-23)

Stibbe played the last two seasons with Minot of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and led the team in scoring in 2020-21 with 32 points in 49 games. Over his two-year NAHL career, he had 65 points in 90 regular-season games. Stibbe also suited up for six games for the Fargo Force of the USHL during the 2019-20 campaign.

Before making the jump to junior, Stibbe was the captain of his prep school team at Fargo Davies High School in North Dakota. He put up 56 points in 27 games during his final season.

Brasen Boser (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Minot, N.D.
  • Previous team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 16U AAA (16U AAA)

Boser contributed two goals and five assists for seven points in 17 games to pace all Jr. Coyotes defencemen in 2020-21.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Brasen is a highly competitive, mobile defenceman. He’ll really learn about himself in his first year of junior and find out what works best for him and his game. We feel like he will be highly sought after by NCAA teams.”

Benjamin Ivey (2004, F)

  • Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
  • Previous team: Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U (16U AAA)

Ivey produced at a high rate for the Jr. Ducks last season, scoring 21 goals and adding 34 assists for 55 points in 59 games to finish top-five in team scoring.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Ben is a big body and a highly skilled forward who we expect to blossom this year into a very productive junior hockey player.”

Jacob Ivey (2004, F)

  • Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
  • Previous team: Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U (16U AAA)

Jacob is the twin brother of Wild recruit Benjamin Ivey. Jacob also scored at a high clip in 2020-21 for the Jr. Ducks. He had 47 points in 59 games for the team.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We expect Jacob to really develop and grow this year. We feel like he has the capability to score goals. This season will really help him round his game out to become a complete player.”

Weston Turner (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Granite Bay, Calif.
  • Previous team: Groton School (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: College of the Holy Cross (2022-23)

Turner joins the Wild after playing two seasons at Groton School in Groton, Mass. In 2019-20, he notched 22 points in 30 games.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Wes is a fun player to watch. He has a ton of energy and he’s very competitive. He’ll be involved at both ends of the ice an awful lot.”

David Hejduk (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Parker, Colo.
  • Previous team: Colorado Thunderbirds 16U AAA (T1EHL 16U)
  • College commitment: Harvard University (2023-24)

David is the son of former Colorado Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk. In 2020-21, he only got into eight games for the Thunderbirds 16U team, but the year prior, Hejduk managed 11 points in 20 games for their 15U program.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We’re excited to add David to our group this year. He plays a very mature and steady game defensively. We also feel he has some offensive upside that he hasn’t tapped yet.”

Hudson Blue (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Previous team: Mount St. Charles Academy 16U AAA (16U AAA)

Blue notched four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 26 games for Mount St. Charles in 2020-21.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Hudson is a California kid who has a lot of California in his game. He has high energy and high speed with some good skill. I think junior hockey is really going to help him define his game and get him to a point where he should be a highly sought-after NCAA recruit.”

Landon Parker (2002, F)

  • Hometown: East Grand Forks, Minn.
  • Previous team: East Grand Forks High (USHS-MN)

Parker led his prep school team in scoring last season with 47 points in 22 games. His 23 goals and 24 assists were also most on the team. Parker suited up for six games last year with the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We’re excited to have Landon in our organization. We think he’ll be one of our top scorers this year. He’s a high-character individual which is good for our dressing room. He’ll be a leader on and off the ice for us.

Hank Levy (2002, G)

  • Hometown: Denver, Colo.
  • Previous team: Colorado Thunderbirds 18U AAA (T1EHL 18U)

Levy most recently played for the Thunderbirds 18U team in 2019-20 when he posted an impressive .930 save percentage and a 1.64 goals-against average. That year, he finished with an 8-2-0 record and three shutouts.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Hank is a very efficient goaltender. He’s not overly flashy, but he’s steady. He always battles and challenges shooters.”

Hunter Hastings (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Previous team: Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)

The second of two returning Wild players from two years ago, Hastings played the 2020-21 campaign with Minnesota of the North American Hockey League where he notched three points in 10 games. In his previous stint with the Wild, he put up 17 points in 54 games.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“We feel that Hunter is at his best playing a heavy game. He’s strong on the puck and shoots it well. We’re excited to watch his progress this year.”

Anthony Cafarelli (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Middletown, Mass.
  • Previous team: Cape Cod Whalers 18U AAA (18U AAA)

The brother of 2019-20 Wild forward Nick Cafarelli, Anthony joins the Wild after spending last year with the Cape Cod Whalers 18U team where he notched 26 points in 32 games.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“He has a very similar game to his brother. He has a really good hockey IQ offensively. He’s a very strong player on the puck. He has a great personality for our dressing room as well.”

Connor Overson (2004, D)

  • Hometown: West Richland, Wash.
  • Previous team: Rocky Mountain Roughriders 16U (16U AAA)

Overson led the Roughriders in scoring by defencemen last season after putting up 21 points in 39 games played.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Connor is a big-bodied, hard-nosed defenceman with a good amount of skill. This season should really set him off on a path to the NCAA.”

Garrett Szydlowski (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Detroit, Mich.
  • Previous team: Maryland Black Bears (NAHL)

Szydlowski played the last two years with Maryland of the North American Hockey League. His best season came last year when he put up 26 points in 53 games to finish top-five in team scoring.

Szydlowski is a product of the Little Caesers hockey program in Detroit, Mich., having spent the majority of his youth hockey playing for them. In 2018-19, while playing for their 16U AAA team, he notched 91 points in 77 games.

Owen Bohn (2002, F)

  • Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
  • Previous team: Philadelphia Hockey Club (NCDC)

Bohn split time last year between Philadelphia of the NCDC and the San Jose Jr. Sharks 18U program. With Philadelphia, he had 19 points in 25 games to finish in the top-five in team scoring.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Owen plays with a ton of energy and speed. He has shown a lot of improvement in his offensive production over the last few years. We expect him to have a breakout year offensively this year.”

Ben Troumbly (2001, F)

  • Hometown: Bovey, Minn.
  • Previous team: Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL)
  • College commitment: St. Cloud State University (2022-23)

Troumbly scored six goals and added 13 assists for 19 points in 53 games for Bismarck of the North American Hockey League last year as a rookie.

Before his year with Bismarck, he was a standout at Greenway High where he spent three seasons. He racked up 47 goals and 61 assists for 108 points in 68 games over his career there. His best year came in 2019-20 when he led the team in scoring with 44 points in 23 contests.

Jayden Price (2001, F)

  • Hometown: Dove Canyon, Calif.
  • Previous team: Philadelphia Hockey Club (NCDC)

Price had eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 22 games for Philadelphia last year to finish in a tie for fourth in team scoring. He also brings some BCHL experience with him, having played 38 games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in 2019-20 where he put up 17 points before moving on to play for the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League to finish his year.

Before his junior career started, Price played at the Shattuck St. Mary’s program in Faribault, Minn. In 2018-19, he played at a point-per-game pace, notching 52 points in 52 contests.

Brodrick Williams (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • Previous team: Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U AAA (16U AAA)

Williams contributed 15 points in 50 games for the Jr. Ducks in 2020-21.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“He’s a big-bodied, mobile defenceman with good puck skills. We think this season will really help define him as a player and showcase him as an NCAA player.”

Brett Oberle (2001, D)

  • Hometown: Woodbury, Minn.
  • Previous team: Minnesota Magicians (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Minnesota-Duluth (2021-22)

Oberle is a two-year veteran of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), playing the last two seasons with the Magicians. Over his two seasons in the league, he played a combined 85 regular-season games and produced 30 points.

Prior to his stint in the NAHL, Oberle attended Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, Minn. where he put up 54 points in 74 games over three seasons.

Jakob Karpa (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
  • Previous team: Chippewa Steel (NAHL)

Another player with NHL bloodliens, Jakob is the son of former NHL player Dave Karpa who played nine seasons in the NHL.

Like his father, Jakob is also a defenceman. Last year, he suited up for Chippewa of the North American Hockey League and chipped in a goal and an assist in 29 games. Prior to last season, Karpa played for the Victory Honda 18U AAA team in Detroit, Mich. and was the team’s second-highest scoring defenceman with 37 points in 72 games.

Andy Vlaha (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Snohomish, Wash.
  • Previous team: Utica Jr. Comets (NCDC)

Vlaha posted a .913 save percentage in nine appearances for the Jr. Comets last year. He also brings a small amount of BCHL experience, having made a relief appearance for Wenatchee as an affiliate during the 2019-20 campaign.

Mendelson’s scouting report:

“Andy has been in our organization the last two years, although he is still a rookie. He has tremendous big-save ability. Our focus this year with him will be to make him consistent and reliable.”

Acquired via trade

Alexandre Danis (2001, F)

  • Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
  • Previous team: Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL)

Danis was acquired by the Wild in an offseason trade with Swan Valley of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) . Last season, he led the Stampeders in scoring with 14 points in nine games, but headed south when the MJHL was forced to shut down. He finished his campaign with the Pueblo Bulls of the USPHL Premier and had five points in three games.

Prior to last year, Danis spent the 2019-20 season with the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, chipping in with 12 points in 48 games as a rookie.

Travis Bohnet (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Airdrie, Alta.
  • Previous team: Atlanta Mad Hatters (USPHL Premier)

Bohnet started the 2020-21 campaign in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with the Drumheller Dragons, but moved south to play for Atlanta of the USPHL after the AJHL season was put on hold. In Atlanta, he was the team’s second-highest scoring defenceman with 13 points in 17 games.

Bohnet has one full season of AJHL action under his belt after spending the 2019-20 campaign with Drumheller. That year, he had two goals and six assists in 40 games as a rookie.

Photo credits: Garrett James Photography (Emerson, Hastings, Price), Dan Hickling (B. Ivey, J. Ivey, Turner, Hejduk, Blue, Williams)