(Photo by Jeremy Faux/Eye2EyePortraits.com)
Las Vegas–After weeks of speculation the Vegas Golden Knights and Fort Wayne Komets make it official with new affiliation partnership for the 2018-19 season.
For the Golden Knights, the Fort Wayne Komets become their second ECHL affiliation in franchise history. Their first was the Quad City Mallards last year but they no longer are existence since they folded at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
“We are proud to add the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets as an affiliate,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “ECHL clubs play an important role in player development. Our young players and prospects will have the opportunity to grow and improve in both Fort Wayne at the ECHL level and then in Chicago at the American Hockey League level.”
The new agreement between the Golden Knights and Fort Wayne is a one year affiliation deal. This agreement also includes their AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves who are embarking on their 25th anniversary season.
With this new agreement, the Golden Knights will be able to shuttle players between Fort Wayne during the upcoming season.
Fort Wayne Komets General Manager David Franke followed up on McPhee remarks with his statement on new affiliation partnership.
“Today is an exciting day in Komet land.” Franke said.
“The affiliation with the Vegas Golden Knights and the Chicago Wolves is now official. We hope that this is mutually beneficial for all three franchises. A big thank you to Andrew Lugerner of the Knights and Wendell Young, general manager of the Wolves. They both made this agreement possible. Also, I’d like to thank Gerard Gallant for his positive recommendation. This is a great opportunity for our players to get a call-up to the Wolves during the course of the 2018-19 season.” Franke added.
Last season, the Komets finished with a 46-20-5-1 record and placed second overall in the ECHL’s Central Division at 98 points. This marked the fourth straight season that the Komets had at least 40 wins.
In addition they qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they were knocked out by the Colorado Eagles in the conference finals four games to three.
For Fort Wayne they have long standing history in the minor league hockey circuit that dates back since 1952. Along the way the Komets have captured 12 regular season champions from their time in the International Hockey League and United Hockey League (9 IHL, 3 UHL). They also have nine league championships to their credit (7 IHL Turner Cups, 1 UHL Colonial Cup, 1 CHL President’s Cup).
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