For Parker native Wild, opportunity for development key to re-signing in USPHL with Decatur
Cody Wild signed with the USPHL’s Decatur Blaze for the 2020-21 season and got acclimated to the development model of junior hockey.
Fast forward a year and the 2003-born Parker native is back in the quaint Illinois town for his second season with the club.
“The opportunity to re-sign with Decatur was because my coaches thought I would be a great addition to coming back and because I loved the team last year,” Wild said. “What appealed to me about the team was that the team was great group of kids, and it was a great opportunity to become a better hockey player and develop new skills and get you ready for a higher level. The league was really good hockey because it had different levels of competition coming from the Midwest, the East Coast and the West Coast and playing with different players from different states or countries.”
Wild added that it was an adjustment being away from home for the first time.
“Going into my first season away from home, I was expecting fans at home games and going on road trips with the boys, and they made it a lot easier because it felt like family and for my first year, I was excited to be away from family,” said Wild. “I did get homesick and missed my home and last year, but it should be back to normal to where we can have fans at home games and get to have a better experience that I didn’t get to have last year. It made it easier to have an amazing billet family that helped me through the season.
“It was really fun because the team came together as a family, and we did everything together. It built a bond that got us through the pandemic.”
Growing up, Wild said he got started in hockey because of his brother and uncle and that the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks played a role.
“I wanted to score and celly like Patrick Kane did,” said Wild.
In Colorado, Wild played for the Colorado Evolution, Colorado Rampage, Columbine High School, and the Monument Hockey Academy ECEL team, and cited coached Matt McGregor, Rudy Rudenko, Kyle Pert, Viktoryia Fedorova, Nick Turcotte, Matt Levine and Sam Downs as positive influences.
Coming back to Decatur and knowing what to expect is something Wild is banking on getting him more opportunities this coming season.
“The way I could be an impact player this year is to be a playmaker and score some goals,” Wild said. “Going into my second year, I have a higher expectation of what to expect this year than I did last year and being a veteran this season, I think I could be a more of a leader.”
Looking ahead, Wild said his goals are to “become the best hockey player I can be.”
“My short- and long-term goals for school and life is to go to college and study sports management and play college hockey,” said Wild. “I also want to compete as long as I can and take the lessons I learned into my life.”
— Matt Mackinder
(September 15, 2021)