ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Aces announced that they have reached a one-year affiliation agreement with the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League for the 2014-15 season.
"It’s an exciting day to finalize an agreement with two NHL teams who are committed with their direction to prospect development," said Parks. "The familiarity of the Blues organization and development structure, along with the geography of Minnesota’s farm system were very attractive opportunities. We’re proud to enter this as a development partner of two esteemed NHL clubs."
"We are excited to renew our affiliation with the Alaska Aces," said Blues Assistant General Manager Kevin McDonald. "They are a first class organization with a long track record of success and we’re looking forward to working with Terry Parks and Rob Murray."
"We are excited to announce a new affiliation agreement with the Alaska Aces," said Jim Mill, Minnesota Wild Director of Minor League Operations and Iowa Wild General Manager. "The Aces have enjoyed tremendous success in the ECHL, winning three Kelly Cup Championships in the last nine seasons including this past season, and will provide the Minnesota Wild organization with another outstanding option to develop our players. Aces head coach Rob Murray has enjoyed tremendous success at every level of professional hockey and we look forward to working with him and the Alaska Aces organization."
Alaska will serve as the ECHL affiliate for Blues and Wild prospects at the premier ‘AA’ hockey league level, a partnership which includes Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliation with the Iowa Wild.
The partnership renews an affiliation between the Aces and Blues that previously lasted seven seasons (2005-12) with the Aces winning two Kelly Cup championships and making three Kelly Cup Finals appearances during that span. Additionally, several players who suited up for the Aces during that time of the affiliation advanced to make their debut in the NHL, including Chris Beckford-Tseu, Chris Holt, Ryan Reaves, Zack Fitzgerald, Tomas Kana, and Anthony Peluso. Currently, Reaves has 194 games of NHL experience with St. Louis.
"Serving as a partner of two respected NHL clubs with tremendous personnel is a terrific opportunity," said Aces head coach Rob Murray. "We’re returning to a mutually beneficial relationship with history in the Blues, while gaining committed partners in the Minnesota and Iowa Wild. It’s our goal to provide every resource possible to maximize prospect development and we’re extremely excited, moving forward with these affiliations."