The state of California has a long history of producing high caliber athletes. The list of football, baseball, and basketball players over the years is legendary. The game of hockey has seen a remarkable boom in the Golden State in recent years including the newest Wenatchee Wild defenseman Brodrick Williams.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, the 6’2” 210 lb. blueliner is the first in his family to play hockey, and he got a late start by comparison to many, discovering his love for the game at the age of 10. His dad played baseball and surfed, but when his mother took him skating it inspired him to take to the ice and he’s never looked back. A mere half hour away from Williams’ home is the Honda Center, home to the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Williams recalls, “I didn’t truly understand what hockey was. When I saw my first Ducks and Islanders game on TV, the speed and constant action captivated me.”
Williams was very active and athletic from a young age, participating in baseball, soccer, basketball, and swimming. By the age of 13, having focused his attention on hockey he was involved in the Anaheim Jr. Ducks program. He went on to play two seasons with the Shattuck St. Mary’s program in Minnesota at the 14UAAA and 15UAAA level before returning to the Jr. Ducks this season, playing on the same team as brothers Ben and Jack Ivey who also are headed to Wenatchee.
Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “Brodrick is a big strong defenseman who also likes to get involved offensively. He, like the Ivey’s, has really developed well with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks program. We look forward to helping him continue to develop the many tools he already has and prepare him to be a NCAA Div. I player.”
Naturally the Ducks are Williams’ favorite NHL franchise but he admires defensemen from around the league, naming Nicklas Lidstrom (retired), Erik Karlsson (San Jose), and Brent Burns (San Jose). “But my favorite is Drew Doughty (LA Kings). He can do everything.”
He’s eager to get to work in Wenatchee. Asked what he’s most looking forward to, he replies, “What DON’T I look forward to, to be honest? The big crowds, the high-level play, the team and people, and the city.”
Wild General Manager Bliss Littler: “Brodrick is a player we have watched the last few years. He has taken a big step this year playing for Alex Kim and the Anaheim Ducks U16 program. Our fans will enjoy his physical presence. We look forward to working with Brodrick the next couple of seasons before he moves on to college hockey.”
The next step for most junior hockey players is college. He admittedly hasn’t gone too deep into those plans as of yet. “I’ve always been interested in space and engineering so in college I’d probably do something along those lines.”
Away from the rink, Williams has an interesting passion. “I’m avid writer and love writing. I find it so fun to captivate a person in a story or moment. Other than that, I’m just a normal guy.” The Wild staff anticipate Williams crafting a couple of solid chapters in his career while in Wenatchee.
Associate Head Coach Leigh Mendelson: “We’ve had the chance to watch Brodrick for a number of years now, first at Shattuck, and this season with the Ducks program. Broderick has a solid combination of strong physical characteristics including elite mobility, combined with a growing sense of his ability to make an impact every shift. This season we’ve seen his game take a big step forward under the Ducks’ U16 coach, Alex Kim. Broderick projects as a very strong mobile defender with the ability to contribute at the offensive end as well. We are excited to be part of his continuing development here in Wenatchee, and know he will be a highly sought-after NCAA recruit.”