The Wenatchee Wild are smarting after a first-round playoff defeat at the hands of the Vernon Vipers.
However, Wild general manager Bliss Littler and interim head coach Chris Clark find themselves in a good situation with 12 players from the 2019-20 roster eligible to return.
Of the dozen who are able to come back, four of them are committed to NCAA Division I schools for the fall of 2021, and six of them are on the blueline, which should be a position of strength for Wenatchee.
In the forward group, Harrison Scott and Jack Bayless are the lone returning 20-year-olds, but Brett Chorske, who turns 19 on May 24, is the top scorer eligible to come back.
The son of 1995 Stanley Cup champion Tom Chorske had 18 goals and 21 assists in his first season of junior hockey, one point behind Wild leader Nick Cafarelli, who’s moving on to the University of New Hampshire.
As mentioned above, the defense is where the Wild are especially dealing from a position of strength. Tanner Main, Drew Bavaro, and Drake Usher are all overage players able to return, while 2001-born Trevor Griebel was second among Wenatchee defensemen in scoring with 21 points in 41 games.
Sophomore Noah Altman is the lone returnee in goal, with Daniel Chenard playing out his junior hockey eligibility and moving on to RIT this fall. Altman turns 20 in August and had a 9-7-0 record with a 3.46 goals-against-average, a .877 save percentage, and one shutout as Chenard’s understudy in 2019-20.
The depth chart below is based on coaches going with a 23-man roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.
All college commitment years are collated from each player’s profile on the Wild roster on the BCHL website.
Ethan Wolthers (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Brian Adams (Air Force Academy)
Nick Cafarelli (University of New Hampshire)
Quinn Emerson (Bowling Green University)
Tyler Young (Providence College)
Sam Morton (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Blake Emerson (Bowling Green University)
Daniel Chenard (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Matt Dorsey (aged out)
Luke Ormsby (aged out)
Noah Lugli (aged out)
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and eight defencemen)
Harrison Scott (00)
Jack Bayless (00)
Brett Chorske (01)
Nicholas Chmelevski (02)
Hunter Hastings (02)
Tanner Main (00)
Drew Bavaro (00)
Drake Usher (00)
Trevor Griebel (01)
Jerrett Overland (01)
Dylan Herzog (01)
Noah Altman (00)