According to a report from Maury Thompson of The Post-Star, the New Jersey Devils will soon announce a partnership and affiliation with the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder. it’s expected that the partnership will be formally unveiled at a press conference scheduled later today.
Some fans may remember that the Thunder were formerly in an agreement with the Calgary Flames, but that partnership ended when the Flames sold their stake in the team to a local corporation in Glen Falls, NY. For what it’s worth, the Devils have had a litany of minor-league affiliates throughout the years, most notably the Albany Devils/River Rats, Binghamton Devils, Utica Devils, Lowell Devils, Fort Wayne Comets, Flint Generals and Augusta Lynx.
While it’s unlikely for any top end talent to see action in Adirondack this upcoming season, the Devils are smart to secure an affiliate in the ECHL given the state of their franchise. It’s no secret that the Devils are rebuilding their team with youth, so having a proper development pipeline from junior and college hockey to the ECHL, AHL and NHL is a key factor in future success.