When hockey is in your blood, it doesn’t matter where you’re born, or where you live. Either you find the game, or the game finds you.

For California native Hudson Blue, his hockey DNA and love of the game will bring him to the Wenatchee Wild for the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Blue was born in Mission Viejo, CA, the son of a journeyman goaltender whose 10-year pro career included NHL stops in Boston and Buffalo. He hit the ice at the age of five and was playing in games the following year.

“I started as a player but I did play goalie for a year," Blue said. "After that year my dad never let me play goalie again but I've had times where I wanted to.”

His successes have come as a forward. Standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing in at 

175 pounds, he’s regarded as a strong skater who can really shoot the puck.

Following a productive season with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks U14 AAA, he headed east to Mount St. Charles Academy in Rhode Island, a highly reputed program that won twenty-six consecutive state titles from 1978 to 2003 and six out of seven from 2008 to 2015.

Blue is confident it was the right move.

“This will be my second year at Mount," Blue said. "Mount has helped not only my hockey career, but it taught me how to be a great individual in the hockey world and in the real world. Big thanks to Coach Rask, Coach Uber, Coach Gainey, Coach Creamer, Craig and all the rest of the staff for helping me move on to the next level.”

He's no stranger to the Wenatchee program. Wild Associate Head Coach Leigh Mendelson has been monitoring Blue’s progress for some time.

“Hudson is a player who impressed us with his skating and instincts in the summer of 2019 at our Anaheim Prospects Camp, and it has been great to watch his development over the past 2 years," Mendelson said. "He possesses a strong work ethic and a competitiveness that will help him adapt to Junior hockey. He’s shown a consistent ability to contribute on the scoresheet, and we anticipate he will be a very attractive recruit for NCAA teams.”

Wenatchee Head Coach Chris Clark sees it the same way.

“Hudson came to our prospects camp two summers ago and really made a good impression. He came to our main camp last summer and showed he had continued to improve at Mount St. Charles Academy," Clark said. "He is an extremely competitive player who can really shoot it. We look forward to continuing to help him with his development as he works towards his goal of obtaining an NCAA college commitment.”

Like most Junior players, Hudson has an NHL favorite player who he looks to emulate.

His goals are to follow in his father’s footsteps, as he hopes to play at the University of Minnesota and eventually in the NHL. He plans on pursuing a degree in business.

Looking forward to coming to Wenatchee, Blue is keenly aware of the Wild’s track record of helping players achieve their goals.

Quite simply, he said, “I’m looking forward to coming into Wenatchee where I can learn and grow into the next level.”

Arch Ecker is director of media relations for The Wenatchee Wild, a member of the British Columbia Hockey League.