Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits and New York Rangers, an “Original Six” National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, announced today that they have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2017-18 season.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Greenville and look forward to working with Brian Gratz and his staff in developing our prospects,” Rangers Assistant General Manager Jim Schoenfeld said. “The Swamp Rabbits are a top notch organization and have been a great partner. We are happy with how players have developed during their time there and look forward to continuing to utilize this affiliation as a means of preparing our prospects to play at the American and National Hockey League levels.”
The Swamp Rabbits have been the primary “AA” affiliate of the Rangers since their inception in 2010 and have watched many former players graduate to the NHL. During the 2014-15 campaign, goaltender Mackenzie Skapski became the latest to do so when he made his professional debut with Greenville on Oct. 19 before a promotion to the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League affiliate) three days later. He went on to make his Rangers debut on Feb. 20 and earned a 3-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Skapski continued to impress in his second outing with a 20-save shutout at Buffalo on Mar. 14.
Previously, goaltender Cam Talbot became the first Greenville alumnus to play for New York during the 2013-14 season when he posted a 12-6-1 record with a 1.64 goals-against-average and .941 save percentage in 21 games with the Rangers. Talbot played in the Upstate during the team’s inaugural season in 2010-11.
This past season, the Swamp Rabbits dressed four Rangers draft picks and six total players on a New York (NHL) contract. In addition, eight players made the climb from Greenville to Hartford and made 90 combined appearances with the Wolf Pack.
“We are excited to be continuing our partnership with the New York Rangers,” Swamp Rabbits President Chris Lewis said. “We look forward to continuing to work with New York to build competitive, successful teams and to providing a tremendous environment for the development of each Rangers’ prospect.”
The Swamp Rabbits will continue to celebrate their relationship with New York with third jerseys modeled after the Rangers uniforms. This will mark the fifth straight year the Swamp Rabbits will don the highly popular alternate uniforms.
The Rangers are four-time NHL Stanley Cup champions and have clinched a postseason berth each of the last six seasons.