The Vancouver Canucks have extended their affiliation with the Kalamazoo Wings through the 2020-21 season. The ECHL franchise has been partnered with the Canucks for the last two seasons, and ten total over the years. This agreement will keep the organization a three-tiered development system along with the AHL’s Utica Comets.
Kalamazoo finished with a 36-31-5 record last season, making the Kelly Cup playoffs. Unfortunately they were ousted in the first round, a common occurrence for the team. Over the last seven years the team has failed to make it past that first round matchup if they make the playoffs at all, and they’re still looking for their first championship in the ECHL.
Like other low minor teams the Wings will likely see the raw and still developing prospects from the Canucks and Comets. Most often NHL teams use their ECHL franchises as breeding grounds for goaltending prospects, and the Wings actually saw Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Matiss Kivlenieks last year for a time. Depending on how things go there is a chance they could see Michael DiPietro, though the Canucks would likely rather him spend time in the AHL to further push his abilities.