HOCKEY: A new cross-border foe for Surrey Eagles: Wenatchee Wild

Surrey Eagles will be doing at least one "roadsie" to central Washington State next season.

The Wenatchee Wild will join the BCHL as its 17th franchise starting with the 2015-16 season, the team and league announced Monday (June 1) at a media conference.

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

The Wild will become the first U.S.-based franchise in the BCHL since the Bellingham Ice Hawks, which operated from 1990 to 1995.

“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.”

In the BCHL full-interlock schedule, all teams play a home-and-home series with each of the other teams. 

The Wild had been a member the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since the 2008-09 season. They have had a winning record in each of their seven seasons of existence and this past season, they had six players on their roster committed to NCAA Div. I programs. Playing out of Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center, the team averages about 3,000 fans at home games.