The Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL) will remain an affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose (AHL), under the terms of a renewal announced Wednesday. The extension assures that the Jets will remain the Icemen’s parent club for the 2018-19 season, with an option to renew for the 2019-20 campaign.
“It’s been great to work with an organization that we’re on the same page with. Jets executives Mark Chipman, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Craig Heisinger, and their coaching staff–they run a first class organization that’s invested a lot in our team,” said Icemen head coach Jason Christie. “To be able to work with them sending players up, and being able to develop players they send down, was obviously key for us. For our guys, getting that opportunity move up to the next level was huge.”
Three Icemen on ECHL contracts (Matt Ustaski, Justin Woods, and Chris Dienes) signed tryout agreements to play for the Moose during the 2017-18 campaign. In total, 13 players made it on the Moose roster at some point in the season, and three of Jacksonville’s top five scorers were on NHL or AHL contracts (Elgin Pearce, Jimmy Lodge, and Bobby MacIntrye.)
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Jacksonville Icemen,” said Jets Senior Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager, Craig Heisinger. “The organization made huge strides on, and off, the ice in its inaugural season. We look forward to our prospects furthering their development with head coach Jason Christie and his staff.”
Both the Jets and Moose made impressive playoff runs this past season with Icemen on their rosters including forward Jansen Harkins, defenseman Jan Kostalek, and goalie Jamie Phillips. Harkins also participated in the Jets Development Camp last month in Winnipeg.