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 Wenatchee Wild

Wild Forward Friesen Earns ATO with Utah Grizzlies of ECHL

April 11, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Wenatchee Wild News Release

Wenatchee Wild forward Evan Friesen
Wenatchee Wild forward Evan Friesen
(Wenatchee Wild, Credit: Russ Alman)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - As the first Western Hockey League season in the Wenatchee Valley winds down, the Wenatchee Wild year-end roster officially has its first advancement to pro hockey.

The Wild are excited to announce that forward Evan Friesen has signed an Amateur Tryout contract (ATO) with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. Friesen is set to join the club ahead of its final two regular-season games this weekend at the Idaho Steelheads.

After picking up an invitation to Winnipeg Jets development camp during the summer, Friesen enjoyed a breakout season for the Wild in 2023-24, his third in the WHL. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native posted 25 goals and 27 assists this season in 60 games, finishing fourth on the team in scoring. He closed out the season with six points in six playoff games against the Kelowna Rockets, including a three-point showing in overtime in Game 5. His six-game goal-scoring streak to open the month of February tied the team high for the season, and his 15-game point streak starting on December 28 also tied the team-best mark for the year.

"It's an honor to get noticed like that, and get called up to play some pro hockey," said Friesen. "It's a big accomplishment, and it's obviously what I'm striving for in the future. It's a good step, to get a shot at such a young age, with still having one year left in juniors - just to get a taste of what it's like, and then to come back next year and have that experience under my belt."

He joins the Grizzlies at a pivotal moment in their season - Utah comes into the last weekend of the ECHL regular season in a tie with the Allen Americans for fourth place in the Mountain Division. The third-place Tulsa Oilers sit just a point ahead, while the sixth-place Wichita Thunder are only three points back with three games remaining on their schedule. The division's top four teams will qualify for the Kelly Cup playoffs, which begin next Wednesday. On Utah's schedule for the final weekend is a Steelheads club that currently sits in third place on the ECHL's league leaderboard with a 46-20-2-2 record and 96 points.

The Wenatchee Wild congratulate Evan Friesen on earning an Amateur Tryout contract with the Utah Grizzlies, and wish him all further success as he joins the Grizzlies for the home stretch of the ECHL season.

Images from this story

Wenatchee Wild forward Evan Friesen
Wenatchee Wild forward Evan Friesen

(Russ Alman)

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