Garrett James Photography

Wenatchee Wild player profile: Cade Littler

Coming into the 2021-22 Season, the Wenatchee Wild was looking at somewhat of a rebuilding season with eight first-year players on the team. On Sept. 13 last year, the Wild signed hometown player Cade Littler.

Before making the full-time jump to the BC Hockey League, Littler played on the Wild’s U16 AAA team where he put up 90 points in 55 games. In addition, he played two games with the Wild as an affiliate but didn’t grasp any points.

After the 2019-20 season, the Wild took a hiatus in 2020-21 due to the Canada-US border being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Littler played for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 16U team and appeared in 17 games, picking up 16 points. He also had a stint in the US Hockey League and with the US National Development Program, playing in six games but adding no points to his name.

He also has his rights owned in two different leagues, one of those being the Western Hockey League, which the Tri-City Americans acquired him from the Edmonton Oil Kings on New Year’s Day in 2020. The Oil Kings had drafted him in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. He was also selected in the first round of Phase I of the 2020 USHL Draft by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Both are known for competing for players alongside the BCHL.

This brings us to Sept. 13, 2021, when Littler signed with the Wild. This signing was indeed a huge impact for Wenatchee, as he had an incredible rookie campaign in his first full BCHL season. The 2004-born forward put up 45 points in 50 games as a freshman. Littler found himself second on the team in points, and first among newcomers. On such a young team with eight first-year players, it was important for those like Littler to stand out.

The Wenatchee native was a big part of why the Wild made it to the playoffs this past season, tying for the most points on the team in the post-season. However, the Wild’s season ended in a game seven loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on the road in the first round.

Adding to his accomplishments this season, Littler was named to the BCHL All-Rookie Team, BCHL All-Star tournament, BCHL High School Player of the Month for December, and a finalist for BCHL Rookie of the Year. He announced his commitment to Minnesota State University, Mankato in January and is listed 187th among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Littler has a bright future in hockey, and as evidenced by his rookie season in the BCHL, this is only the beginning. We will have to see if he returns to the Wild in 2022-23 or heads to Minnesota State, Mankato before his junior eligibility is up.

Whichever route Littler ends up taking, he’s worth keeping an eye on for the next few years as he could be added to the list of distinguished alumni to come through the Wild organization.