Vancouver, British Columbia— Vancouver Canucks President Trevor Linden announced that the Kalamazoo Wings have signed a one-year agreement to be the ECHL affiliate of the Canucks and American Hockey League’s Utica Comets for the 2017-18 season.
“We are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” Linden said. “Aligned with our AHL affiliation in Utica, this relationship benefits the growth and development of our players. We look forward to renewing our connection with Kalamazoo again.”
With this affiliate agreement, it marks the third time in Kalamazoo’s history that the Canucks and K-Wings have been in partnership (1984-87, 2011-15 and 2017-present).
“We’re thrilled to be working with the Vancouver Canucks and Utica Comets organization once again,” said K-Wings head coach Nick Bootland. “There’s a solid foundation in place already with the clubs, and the future is certainly bright. We’re very excited to get to work with some of their talented prospects and help them develop on their way to successful AHL and NHL careers.”
“On behalf of the entire Comets staff, I can say we’re very enthusiastic to continue to build our relationship with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Comets president Robert Esche. “It has been a pleasure to work with head coach Nick Bootland in the past and we will continue to work together to build a cohesive path from the ECHL to the AHL and to the NHL in Vancouver.”
Since the Wings joined the ECHL in 2009, four players have made their NHL debuts with the Vancouver Canucks after appearing with Kalamazoo. Those players include Darren Archibald, Alex Friesen, Alexandre Grenier and Evan McEneny.