(This article was originally published on Mar. 26, 2020)
First NAHL franchise
The Wenatchee Wild started out as an expansion franchise in the North American Hockey League in 2008. The Wild was quite successful as an NAHL franchise, never missing the playoffs in seven seasons.
The Wild also hosted the 2010 NAHL’s Robertson Cup and as the host team, received an automatic bid. But unfortunately, the Wild did not end up winning the Cup on their home ice.
In fact, twice the Wild came close to bringing the Robertson Cup home but fell both times in the final. Following the 2012-13 season, the team planned to join the BCHL, but it wasn’t to be.
— NAHL (@NAHLHockey) May 14, 2013
Instead, they opted to stay in the NAHL and move to Hidalgo, Texas where they became known as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. That franchise has moved multiple times since moving to Hidalgo.
Despite the franchise relocation, hockey returned the very next season to Wenatchee in a slightly different form.
Second NAHL franchise
While the original Wenatchee Wild relocated to Texas, the franchise’s ownership group acquired the NAHL’s Fresno Monsters and moved them to Central Washington in time for the following season.
On May 22, 2013, Wenatchee city council approved the deal to relocate the franchise from Fresno, California. The new edition of the Wild remained in the NAHL for two seasons before switching leagues to the BCHL.
While in the NAHL, the two different editions of the Wenatchee Wild combined for an overall record of 245-130-39.
Wild becomes first American-based BCHL franchise since 1995
— BCHL (@BCHockeyLeague) June 1, 2015
The Wild announced on June 1, 2015, they were leaving the NAHL for the British Columbia Hockey League. One of the many things that stayed the same from the NAHL franchise was that GM and head coach Bliss Littler remained behind the bench.
Since joining the BCHL, the Wild has kept with its winning ways by making the playoffs each season since joining in the 2015-16 season.
In the 2017-18 season, Wenatchee won its first championship in claiming the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup. The Wild went on to defeat the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Spruce Grove Saints in five games to win the Doyle Cup.
At the Canadian National Junior A Championship, the Wild went 2-2 with two regulation wins and two overtime wins. Wenatchee knocked off the host Chilliwack Chiefs 2-1 in overtime, the Steinbach Pistons 4-3, the Ottawa Junior Senators 3-2 in overtime, and the Wellington Dukes 7-1. But in the semi-final, the Wild fell 2-1 in a rematch with the Dukes.
The Wild have made the playoffs in the last two seasons, but lost to Vernon in the Interior Division semi-final in 2019 and fell to the Vipers in the first round this year.