The Edmonton Oilers announced today that they have renewed a one-year affiliation agreement with the Stockton Thunder for the 2008-09 ECHL season. This marks the third consecutive season that Stockton will be an Oilers affiliate.
”We are pleased to once again extend our agreement for another year with Stockton,” said Kevin Prendergast, the Oilers Vice President, Hockey Operations. “Dan Chapman, Chris Cichocki and the Thunder organization have provided our players with a positive environment that enables them to develop as professionals. We look forward to another successful season with Stockton in 2008-09.”
Since the Oilers began their affiliation with Stockton in 2006-07, the Thunder has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs twice and two former Thunder players – defenceman Bryan Young and left wing Liam Reddox
– have played with Edmonton. Young became the first Stockton player to earn a call-up to the NHL when he made his Oilers debut at Anaheim on March 9, 2007. Reddox played in his first NHL game with the Oilers on December 7, 2007.
The Thunder were 27-40-5 under head coach Chris Cichocki in 2007-08 to finish in fourth place in the Pacific Division of the ECHL’s National Conference and advanced to the post-season for the second consecutive season. Stockton lost its ECHL conference quarter-final series in six games to the Las Vegas Wranglers.
Stockton has led the ECHL in attendance for the last three seasons, drawing a league-high 239,337 fans to Stockton Arena in 2007-08. The Thunder, who hosted the 2008 ECHL All-Star Game, will open the 2008-09 regular season at home on Saturday, October 18, 2008 when they host the Fresno Falcons.