2016-17 NHL team affiliations with AHL and ECHL teams


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NHL logos

It is that time of year again when NHL teams begin to announce their new minor league affiliations for the coming season. There will be a number of NHL teams shifting their minor league affiliates and even moving their teams for the 2016-17 season. In April the Arizona Coyotes purchased the AHL Springfield Falcons franchise and they plan to move the team to Tucson for next season. Currently NHL teams (or their ownership groups) own 17 AHL teams and 4 ECHL teams, and they are indicated on the chart below. As new minor league affiliations are announced in the coming months this list will be updated. 2016-17 season updates are listed if they have been announced, otherwise the 2015-16 season teams are listed for now.

NHL = National Hockey League, 30 teams — number set at 30 until the expansion is official. — Website.

AHL = American Hockey League, 30 teams — number set at 30 until the NHL expansion is official. — Website. Team Map & Directory.

ECHL = (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) as of May 6, 2016 the league is at 29 teams however the Owensboro IceMen (formerly Evansville) has suspended operations for one season to return in 2017-18 and the new Worcester Railers team will begin playing in 2017-18. There is room to expand the league to 30 teams and that does seem to be the plan. There has been discussion of an additional team joining the Western Conference’s Central Division, however for now there is nothing official.

There were three ECHL clubs who were Independent, with no NHL affiliations, in 2015-16: Alaska Aces, Colorado Eagles and the Wichita Thunder. — Website. Team Directory.

Forget about the old ECHL name containing the term “Eastern” and just embrace the name as ECHL. The League officially changed their name from the East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003. You will thank me for this! And here is the league map.

For 2015-16 affiliations see 2015-16 NHL team affiliations with AHL and ECHL teams.

If you are aware of any updates to this list, please let me know.

Updated May 23, 2016

NHL TEAMS NHL affiliations with Minor Leagues (ownership indicated if NHL team owned)
Anaheim Ducks
  AHL: San Diego Gulls (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Utah Grizzlies (Affiliation) – Signed a multi-year extension on Feb. 20, 2016 for 2016-17+)
Arizona Coyotes  Purchased AHL Franchise
  AHL: Former Springfield Falcons (NHL owned). (Arizona announced the purchase of the Springfield Falcons franchise, April 19, 2016, and the AHL approved the plan on May 10. The AHL team will relocate to Tucson for 2016-17 season.)
  ECHL: Rapid City Rush (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Boston Bruins
  AHL: Providence Bruins (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Atlanta Gladiators (Affiliation; 2-year contract for 2015-16 & 2016-17)
Buffalo Sabres
  AHL: Rochester Americans (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Elmira Jackals (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Calgary Flames
  AHL: Stockton Heat (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Adirondack Thunder (NHL owned)
Carolina Hurricanes
  AHL: Charlotte Checkers (NHL Influenced Affiliation; Checkers owner Michael Kahn is one of the minority owners of the Hurricanes)
  ECHL: Florida Everblades (NHL owned – Owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is majority owner of both Hurricanes and Everblades)
Chicago Blackhawks
  AHL: Rockford IceHogs (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Indy Fuel (Affiliation through 2018-19); 5-year affiliation agreement signed April 2, 2014 through 2018-19.
Colorado Avalanche
  AHL: San Antonio Rampage (Affiliation through 2019-20; from 2015-16 season with a 5-year agreement)
  ECHL: Fort Wayne Komets (Affiliation through 2016-17) – Renewed affiliation for 2 seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17) July 22, 2015.
Columbus Blue Jackets
  AHL: Lake Erie Monsters (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Kalamazoo Wings (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Dallas Stars
  AHL: Texas Stars (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Idaho Steelheads (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Detroit Red Wings
  AHL: Grand Rapids Griffins (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Toledo Walleye (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Edmonton Oilers
  AHL: Bakersfield Condors (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Norfolk Admirals (NHL owned)
Florida Panthers
  AHL: Springfield AHL Team (Affiliation)   [Portland Pirates franchise sold and moved to Springfield, MA for 2016-17 season; May 23, 2016: Florida announced multi-year affiliation with the team beginning in 2016-17]
Los Angeles Kings
  AHL: Ontario Reign (NHL owned – AEG)
  ECHL: Manchester Monarchs (NHL owned – AEG)
Minnesota Wild
  AHL: Iowa Wild (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Quad City Mallards (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Montréal Canadiens
  AHL: St. John’s IceCaps (NHL ownership) [Team to remain in St. John’s for 2 seasons through 2016-17. Canadiens are expected to move their AHL club to Laval in 2017-18]
  ECHL: Brampton Beast (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Nashville Predators
  AHL: Milwaukee Admirals (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Cincinnati Cyclones (Affiliation, 2015-16)
New Jersey Devils
  AHL: Albany Devils (NHL owned)
  ECHL: –
New York Islanders
  AHL: Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (Affiliation; signed 2 year affiliation for 2015-16, 2016-17 on June 11, 2015)
New York Rangers
  AHL: Hartford Wolf Pack (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Greenville Road Warriors (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Ottawa Senators
  AHL: Binghamton Senators (Affiliation) [Discussion and rumors that Ottawa wants to move their AHL team to Belleville in the future]
  ECHL: Evansville IceMen (Affiliation, 2015-16) [Evansville will move to Owensboro for 2017-18 season] [Ottawa is currently looking for an ECHL affiliation for 2016-17]
Philadelphia Flyers
  AHL: Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Reading Royals (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Pittsburgh Penguins
  AHL: Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Wheeling Nailers (Affiliation, 2015-16)
San Jose Sharks
  AHL: San Jose Barracuda (NHL owned).
  ECHL: – Allen Americans (Affiliation, 2015-16)
St. Louis Blues
  AHL: Chicago Wolves (Affiliation)
Tampa Bay Lightning
  AHL: Syracuse Crunch (Affiliation)
Toronto Maple Leafs
  AHL: Toronto Marlies (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Orlando Solar Bears (Affiliation; renewed through 2016-17, with option to renew another season)
Washington Capitals
  AHL: Hershey Bears (Affiliation)
  ECHL: South Carolina Stingrays (Affiliation; Renewed through 2017-18 on March 21, 2016.)
Winnipeg Jets
  AHL: Manitoba Moose (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Tulsa Oilers (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Vancouver Canucks
  AHL: Utica Comets (NHL owned)