Wild time for BCHL

For the first time since 1995 and the Bellingham Ice Hawks, the junior A hockey league will have a team based in Washington State.

The Wenatchee Wild will join the BCHL as its 17th franchise starting next season, the team and league announced Monday at a media conference held in the central Washington city.

“The BCHL is gaining a strong franchise in the Wenatchee Wild and we value the passion and professionalism they bring to our league,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “The Wild will quickly develop rivalries with our existing franchises and I believe they will be a big draw in opposing buildings.”

The Wild had been a member the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since 2008-09, with winning records in each of their seven seasons.

This past year they had six players on their roster committing to NCAA Div. I programs.

Playing out of Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center, the team averages about 3,000 fans per game.

Head coach Bliss Littler, a native of Minot, N.D., is entering his 22nd year as a junior hockey coach.

As a U.S.-based club, the Wild will be allowed to roster a maximum of four Canadian players.

With today’s announcement, they become the first U.S.-based franchise in the BCHL since the Bellingham Ice Hawks, who operated from 1990 to 1995.

See bchl.ca