The New York Islanders announced today that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Missouri joins the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.
“We are excited to partner with the Missouri Mavericks as our new ECHL affiliate,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “The Mavericks are a highly-regarded organization with a high-end coaching staff that’s capable of developing players from the ECHL, to the AHL, and eventually to the New York Islanders.”
Based in Independence, Missouri, the Mavericks are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the ECHL. Founded in 2009, the Mavericks are entering their seventh season in franchise history at Independence Events Center, led by General Manager Brent Thiessen and Head Coach Richard Matvichuk.
“The Missouri Mavericks are thrilled to be affiliating with a first-class organization in the New York Islanders,” Thiessen said. “We are excited to develop their prospects and work closely with the team moving forward.”
Missouri competed for five seasons in the now-defunct Central Hockey League (CHL) before joining the ECHL in 2014-15. Lamar Hunt Jr. is the new President and Owner of the franchise, which has made playoff appearances in five of the past six seasons and won the CHL Franchise of the Year Award in four consecutive seasons (2011-12 to 2013-2014).
“One of the major priorities that we identified while going through the due diligence process on the purchase of the Missouri Mavericks was to strengthen our affiliations in the world of professional hockey,” Hunt said. “Our new affiliation with the Islanders includes integration into their scouting system, strength and conditioning program, and training camps among other things. We are excited for the players and the fans as we bring a whole new level of professional hockey to the IEC and are paired up with an organization that has been built through its development to become a perennial playoff contender.”
Several Islanders prospects saw time in the ECHL last season, including former second-round pick Sebastian Collberg, third-rounder Loic Leduc and seventh-rounder Lukas Sutter. Three Islanders players that finished the 2014-15 season with the team who spent a portion of their careers in the ECHL include Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Kael Mouillierat.