The New York Islanders announced today an affiliation agreement with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, beginning in the 2013-14 season. Stockton will join the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.
“We are thrilled to have the Stockton Thunder join the Islanders as the organization’s ECHL affiliate,” General Manager Garth Snow said. “The culture of success in Stockton will benefit our prospects and develop them into better hockey players as they work their way from the ECHL, to the AHL and eventually playing for the New York Islanders.”
“Having an NHL affiliate is an important piece of our success, and a dedicated organization like the New York Islanders brings a lot to the table,” Thunder President Brian Sandy said. “The Thunder is committed to helping our players reach their goals through NHL development, and our new affiliation with the Islanders will help us achieve this objective for them in a much bigger way. And, our fans can look forward to watching talented Islanders prospects, who will play important roles in our commitment to excellence, both on the ice and in our community.”
Since their 2005-06 inaugural season, the Thunder have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs seven consecutive times, from 2007-13. In 2012-13, the Thunder finished second in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division and made it to the Kelly Cup Finals before falling in five games to the Reading Royals. The Thunder play at Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA.
Islanders forward Colin McDonald played three games with the Thunder during the 2008-09 season, recording two assists.