WORCESTER, MA – The Worcester Railers HC have found their first NHL affiliation, the New York Islanders.
News of this comes from long-time reporter of Worcester Hockey, Bill Ballou, in an article posted in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:
“The Railers’ NHL affiliate, which can’t be announced until the summer but is unofficially lined up to be the New York Islanders, appears to be exactly what Worcester had hoped for when it began looking for a partner.”
It should be noted that the Islanders are still affiliated with the Missouri Mavericks, and will continue to be so through the end of the hockey season.
Fans may recall from past events, head coach Jamie Russell was looking for an affiliate that would be relatively close to Worcester. Location is important for affiliations for when players need to be called up or replaced due to injury or an open spot becoming available on the team. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the AHL affiliate of the Islanders) are located 110 miles from Worcester and New York’s Barclay Center is 160 miles from Worcester.
Now that there’s an affiliation secured, it’s just a matter of time before we hear an official announcement from the team. We were given a general time after of when the season ends, so we could hear that official announcement as early as April 8, 2017.