FORT WAYNE, Ind. – After weeks of speculation, the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets and the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League made their affiliation for the 2018-19 season official Tuesday.
Under the one-year deal, the Chicago Wolves will also continue to serve as the NHL team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
“Today is an exciting day in Komet land,” Fort Wayne Komets General Manager David Franke said in a team press release. ” We hope that this is mutually beneficial for all three franchises. A big thank you to Andrew Lugerner of the Knights and Wendell Young, general manager of the Wolves. They both made this agreement possible. Also, I’d like to thank Gerard Gallant for his positive recommendation. This is a great opportunity for our players to get a call-up to the Wolves during the course of the 2018-19 season.”
The Golden Knights had an exhilarating inaugural season last year, winning the Western Conference Championship before falling to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final. The Golden Knights also have a direct connection with Fort Wayne, as Gallant, their head coach, is a former Komets assistant coach.
“We are proud to add the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets as an affiliate,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “ECHL clubs play an important role in player development. Our young players and prospects will have the opportunity to grow and improve in both Fort Wayne at the ECHL level and then in Chicago at the American Hockey League level.”
The Wolves are celebrating their 25th anniversary this upcoming season. They’ve won four league championships, six conference crowns, and nine division titles since the franchise was founded in 1994, and are in the second year of their partnership with the Golden Knights.
While this is a positive announcement for Fort Wayne, it almost certainly means the team will lose stellar goaltender Michael Houser, as the deal likely means the Komets will have a new top goalie.
With today’s announcement of the new affiliation between the Golden Knights and Komets, just two ECHL teams do not have NHL affiliations for the coming season. Keep up on all the affiliations, by checking out our Affiliations Tracker: https://thesinbin.net/affiliations/
For the latest news on the Fort Wayne Komets, be sure to follow @SinBinFtWayne on Twitter!