The Kalamazoo Wings are partnering with a familiar NHL club, as the ECHL team has announced a one-year affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks. This agreement aligns the Wings with the Utica Comets in the AHL.
“We are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden. “Aligned with our AHL affiliation in Utica, this relationship benefits the growth and development of our players. We look forward to renewing our connection with Kalamazoo again.”
With this affiliate agreement, it marks the third time in Kalamazoo’s history that the Canucks and K-Wings have been in partnership (1984-87, 2011-15 and 2017-present) and the 11th NHL team that Kalamazoo has had an affiliation with.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the Vancouver Canucks and Utica Comets organization once again,” said K-Wings head coach Nick Bootland. “There’s a solid foundation in place already with the clubs, and the future is certainly bright. We’re very excited to get to work with some of their talented prospects and help them develop on their way to successful AHL and NHL careers.”
“On behalf of the entire Comets staff, I can say we’re very enthusiastic to continue to build our relationship with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Comets president Robert Esche. “It has been a pleasure to work with head coach Nick Bootland in the past and we will continue to work together to build a cohesive path from the ECHL to the AHL and to the NHL in Vancouver.”
Since the Wings joined the ECHL in 2009, four players have made their NHL debuts with the Vancouver Canucks after appearing with Kalamazoo. Those players include Darren Archibald, Alex Friesen, Alexandre Grenier, and Evan McEneny.