The Story of Hudson Fasching
UNRL ATHLETE // BUFFALO SABRES FORWARD
At some point in everyone’s life, you have to leave home. Usually, this comes after high school when one moves into college or goes on to work. For Hudson Fasching, leaving home was a bit more difficult than for most.
Fasching was dominating high school sports as an underclassman. He was a big part of an Apple Valley High School soccer team that went 47-0 while capturing two Minnesota State Championships; he led the varsity hockey team to the state tournament as a freshman; and he was undefeated in tennis, a sport he was actually brand new to.
His athletic prowess did not go unnoticed, particularly on the ice. At 16, Fasching had a decision to make: he was offered a spot on the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan—arguably the most prestigious young team in the country.
Despite the great opportunity, the decision was not easy. Fasching grew up a family man, and his parents relied on him. The eldest of three, Hudson’s younger siblings, Cooper and Mallory, both suffer from a rare mitochondrial disorder that renders them unable to walk or speak. Consequently, his siblings require 24/7 care. Growing up, Hudson learned to do everything he could to assist his parents in caring for them. He helped them out in the house with food and medicine and spent many days with them in the hospital through the years.
“There’s no verbal communication, so it’s hard to tell if they know what’s going on a lot of the time, but we hope they would,” he said. “We know they have personalities, it’s just hard to have that communication with them or to talk with them about how my professional career is going.”
When it came time to make the choice, Fasching’s parents were supportive to let him do what he felt was best for him.
“ [The situation at home] made the decision a lot harder,” he said. “I was so close to my family and spent a lot of time with them—it makes it hard to leave home at 16 and go play hockey somewhere brand new. It’s all voluntary, so it’s hard to leave your comfort zone.”
Making it to the NHL
Fasching made the jump to play for the USNTDP where continued to excel. In his two-year stint in Ann Arbor, he registered 27 goals and 45 assists in 121 games and continued receiving national praise. To take the next step, Hudson looked for a school to continue his hockey career at the Division I level. He said he was looking for a place that had the best combination school and hockey, and he landed with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
“It was a huge added bonus to be close to home…to be with friends and people I was familiar with,” Fasching said. “I had an incredible time in Minnesota.”
He was a standout at the U of M as well, tallying 94 points (46 goals, 48 assists) in three seasons and helped Minnesota claim three Big Ten regular season titles. Following his junior year with the Gophers, Fasching forewent his senior season and joined the Buffalo Sabres to finish the 2015-16 season, playing in seven games. He said the quick transition to the pros caused a bit of shell-shock initially.
“That was insane,” he said. “I remember [in my second NHL game against Detroit] I caught a breakout pass, and I looked up like, ‘holy shit, that’s Pavel Datsyuk coming at me.’ It took a second to let that sink in and by the time I had processed that, he had already stick-lifted me and taken the puck. After awhile I got used to it, but it took me a little bit.”
Today, he is continuing to play in the Sabres organization where he’s putting in work in the AHL to be ready for a recall to Buffalo at any moment.
At a young age, Hudson Fasching knew how important family is, and he recognizes that he wouldn’t be who he is today without them—especially Cooper and Mallory. His work ethic to take advantage of every opportunity in life is what makes him an UNRL athlete.