Though he wasn’t drafted by the NHL following his days on Denison’s club team, Todd Frederickson ’96 would go on to have a rather productive professional hockey career — just not on the ice, exactly.
Just months after graduating, the Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native took his first job in the professional hockey world, working as an account executive for the minor league Chicago Wolves.
It would be a job that would change the path of his life.
Two decades later, Frederickson is still at it. These days, he is the inaugural president of the Iowa Wild, a new American Hockey League team based in Des Moines and the AAA affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.
Though he’s just a few months into his new gig, Frederickson has loved having the chance to be at the helm of an organization.
“It’s an opportunity to run an organization and to use my vision,” says Frederickson. “I’ve taken all the best practices that I’ve learned to help launch a new franchise.”
Frederickson’s daily responsibilities truly run the gamut. At one point he may be dealing with ticket sales, at another, he’s working on the marketing and advertising angle of the franchise. As Frederickson notes, one of his chief duties is hiring staff and professional development. And as one may imagine, bringing a team into a new market does come with its fair share of challenges.
“It’s a new market, though Des Moines has had hockey before,” Frederickson says, noting that the city’s previous team ultimately did not fare well.
“We had to show that we had a completely different business model than the previous team. So far, we’ve been extremely successful with the Wild.” The team currently is ranked 5th in the Midwest Division.
Frederickson comes to Iowa with plenty of experience in the pro hockey world. He spent 11 years with the Chicago Wolves, serving in five different roles — including director of group sales and executive director of ticket sales and services. After a brief seven-month stint working as director of ticket sales and services with the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League, Frederickson returned to hockey. For the past five years, he had been vice president of team business services for the American Hockey League in Springfield, Mass., before landing his current job last May.
For Frederickson, there was something about hockey that he just didn’t want to let go. He first took to the ice when he was just 5 years old and still plays in a Des Moines-based league for those involved in local business.
“I always loved playing hockey and watching hockey,” says Frederickson. “So why wouldn’t I want to work in the hockey business?”