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PHOENIX, Az. – Just days after announcing they would be parting ways with the Fort Wayne Komets, the Arizona Coyotes have a new player development partner at the AA-level.

Monday, the organization announced they would be working with the Norfolk Admirals for the 2018-19 season. The arrangement is a one-year deal.

“We are excited to partner with the Norfolk Admirals as our new ECHL affiliate,” said Coyotes’ Assistant General Manager Steve Sullivan. “The Admirals are a first-class organization with Owner Ardon Wiener and Head Coach Robbie Ftorek. Having had Robbie as my first professional head coach, I fully trust his ability to develop our prospects in Norfolk. We look forward to a strong partnership.”

Norfolk will also be affiliated with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners, who finished the 2017-18 regular season by winning the AHL’s Pacific Division.

The Admirals are coming off a tough season, one that saw them end an affiliation with the Nashville Predators in-season, then have a resurgence that saw them finish fifth in the ECHL’s South Division. Norfolk had three players (Grant Besse, TJ Melancon, Ty Reichenbach) sign a player tryout agreement (PTO) with the Roadrunners last season.

Recently, the Admirals announced that head coach Robbie Ftorek agreed to a contract extension that would keep him in the Tidewater through the 2019-20 season.

“With both the Coyotes’ AHL (Tucson) and ECHL (Fort Wayne) affiliates finishing the regular season ranked in the top two in their respective divisions and advancing past the first round of the playoffs, Arizona has a great stable of prospects. We’re looking forward to helping them continue to develop, while winning games,” said President and Chief Revenue Officer Trent Ferguson. “Coach Ftorek laid the groundwork work last season and we’re looking forward to building on that success with the Coyotes and Roadrunners help this year.”

The affiliation announced today means there are just three ECHL teams are left without player development partners, while there are seven such organizations at the NHL level. To keep up with all of the affiliations in minor league hockey, visit our affiliations page: https://thesinbin.net/affiliations/.

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