Ottawa Announces ECHL Affiliation with Wichita Thunder
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Ottawa Senators have announced an ECHL affiliation with the Wichita Thunder for the 2016-17 season. Under the affiliation agreement both the Ottawa Senators and Binghamton Senators will be able to designate players within their development system for assignment with the Thunder.
"We're proud to become the first NHL affiliate of the Wichita Thunder," said Binghamton Senators General Manager Randy Lee. "The development of our prospects continues to be an important priority for our club. As we strive to place players in environments which are conducive to both individual and team success, we feel confident that a number of our young players will be able to progress with the Thunder."
The Thunder began play in the six-team Central Hockey League in 1992. After finishing its first season with a record of 25-32-2, the Thunder captured the Adams Cup as back-to-back regular season title winners in 1993-94 and 1994-95. In those same two years, Wichita also won the William "Bill" Levins Memorial Cup as CHL Champions.
"We're very excited to be entering into this partnership with the Senators," commented Thunder Head Coach Malcolm Cameron. "Thunder fans will have an opportunity to see potential future Senators wearing Wichita jerseys this season while watching players progress throughout the season. This agreement also provides our own players with an opportunity to be monitored by the Senators organization. Personally, I look forward to helping in the development of NHL-level prospects."
More success occurred for the Thunder during the 2011-12 campaign as the team lost only 22 of 66 regular-season games en route to a Berry Conference Championship along with the Governor's Cup as a result of finishing with the best regular season record in the CHL. The Thunder advanced to the CHL Finals in both 2012 and in 2013.
On Oct. 7, 2014, the Thunder joined the ECHL following 22 seasons in the Central Hockey League. The affiliation with Ottawa is the team's first with an NHL entity in team history.
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