News DailyDish Players
Radio Discuss

Wild Welcome Defenseman David Hejduk to Wenatchee - Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020  
By: Arch Ecker

The 2020-21 hockey season for the Wenatchee Wild never got a chance to get off the ground thanks in part to a global pandemic, but work has begun to construct the roster for the 2021-22 BCHL season. The latest addition comes in the form of 6’ 194 lb. defenseman David Hejduk (pronounced HAY-duke).

Hejduk first hit the ice at the age of “2 to 3”, as he recalls. He was playing on his first team at the age of 4. Players at that age will generally get an opportunity to play all positions, and for Hejduk, he started as a forward. “Then I tried playing defense and really liked it. The next season, I was a D-man.” As he’s moved along in his playing career, he’s realized, “I like playing defense because I like being the ‘quarterback’ of the play.”

Born in Parker, CO, Hejduk has a twin brother, Marek, who is skating with the US Development Team program this season. The brothers carry a championship pedigree that dates back to their grandfather who won gold at the junior level with Czechoslovakia in 1968, and then a pro championship in 1972, also in Czechoslovakia. Their father had a highly successful career that included Olympic Gold and a Stanley Cup. David, however, is excited to make a name for himself as he grows his game. He’s been a part of the Colorado Thunderbirds for six seasons now, beginning at the U11 level and now skating this season at the U16 level in the Tier I Elite League. “It’s a great program that really helped me develop.”

Wenatchee General Manager Bliss Littler: “David has made nice progress the last few years. We feel he will be able to step into the BCHL and contribute right away. We look forward to working with him the next few years before he moves on to Harvard.”

Wenatchee Associate Head Coach Leigh Mendelson: “We are very excited to have David join the organization. We've had the opportunity to watch him develop over the past few seasons with the Colorado Thunderbirds and feel as though he is ready to make the jump to Junior Hockey. David has a very good combination of physical tools, strength, competitiveness, and hockey sense. As he has already committed to Harvard, we are looking forward to helping David prepare to be an impact freshman when he steps on campus.”

Hejduk and his brother have played together their whole careers, and this year is the first time they’ve competed apart from each other. “It’s different, we’re obviously really close, so it was initially difficult to adjust. We also worked very well together on the ice, given how long we played together. So that chemistry had to be made up.” The brothers are slated to reunite in 2023 as they have each committed to Harvard University. David is mulling over his choice of major, though he anticipates a degree in business and economics.

Players today have more options than ever when it comes to choosing where to play their junior level hockey. For David Hejduk, he was careful about his decision. “I did some research, talked to some people, and found out what a great league (the BCHL) is. I love the development potential for young players like myself.”

Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “We are very excited to add David to our group. He is an extremely smart player with a real competitive nature. The Colorado Thunderbirds have done an excellent job helping develop David, and our staff looks forward to continuing in helping him develop and prepare for college hockey at Harvard.” 

Like most players, Hejduk keeps a keen eye on NHL players for ideas and inspiration. For David, he says, “I really like the way Kevin Shattenkirk (currently with Anaheim) plays. He is a smart playmaker, and I try to steal some aspects of his game.” Away from the rink, David has some varying interests. “I played soccer when I was younger, however I gave that up when time became more limited. Now, I play golf, and tennis in the offseason.” He also enjoys being in the outdoors, and doing things like fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping. 

Author: Arch Ecker

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Arch Ecker, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
See more of by logging in
Your online community for Junior Hockey!