The Adirondack Thunder (ECHL) and New Jersey Devils have announced a one-year affiliation agreement, covering the 2018-19 season. This agreement makes the New Jersey Devils and Binghamton Devils the Thunder’s NHL and AHL affiliates, respectively.
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The Devils became the Thunder’s NHL affiliate on August 8, 2017 after the organizations had an “informal working agreement” during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. The Devils are the Thunder’s second NHL affiliation following the Calgary Flames, which owned and operated the team from 2015-2017.
The Thunder had four players play with the team this season on New Jersey or Binghamton contracts, including goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood and defenseman Colton White, who were a part of the Thunder’s roster in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Thunder also hosted goaltender Ken Appleby, who became the first Thunder alum that appeared in multiple games with Adirondack to go on to make his NHL debut. Appleby appeared in three games with New Jersey this season, including his NHL debut on January 20, 2018 against Philadelphia, and posted a 1.45 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.
“We’re extremely excited to extend our relationship with the New Jersey Devils for another season,” Adirondack Thunder Alternate Governor Ed Moore said. “We had an incredibly successful start to our affiliation last season, seeing players go from Adirondack to the NHL and vice versa with the Devils and we look forward to seeing what year two brings. Working with Ray Shero, Tom Fitzgerald and the entire Devils organization has been a pleasure and we’re eager to continue to grow those relationships.”
Over three seasons of working together, the partnership between New Jersey and Adirondack has seen eight players from the New Jersey system spend time in Glens Falls. The agreement has also seen nine Thunder contracted players sign try out deals in the AHL with the Binghamton Devils and Albany Devils over the past three seasons, giving Thunder players the opportunity to play at the AHL level.
“On behalf of the New Jersey Devils, we are pleased to extend our partnership with the Adirondack Thunder as our ECHL affiliate for the 2018-19 season,” New Jersey Devils Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald said. “We have seen firsthand how the staff in Adirondack has developed our players and helped aid in the transition to Binghamton. The success of the Thunder on the ice this season has been a direct reflection of that, and we all look forward to working together next season.”