The St. Louis Blues have agreed to a one-year extension with the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL. 2019-20 will be the third year the two organizations have partnered, giving the Blues a second minor league team to develop their prospects.
Tulsa actually advanced to the third round of the Kelly Cup playoffs last season, their best year since joining the ECHL. Led by star Adam Pleskach, who scored 38 goals and 75 points, the team put up a 42-24-6 record in the regular season. Like most teams, the Blues use their ECHL roster for raw or long-shot prospects but also continue to develop potential future goaltenders. Stanley Cup champion Jordan Binnington spent time in the ECHL during the early part of his career, and last season saw second-round pick Evan Fitzpatrick start 25 games for Tulsa.
As more and more teams invest heavily in their development systems, the low minors continue to increase in importance. If Fitzpatrick ends up back in the ECHL next season he can focus entirely on his training, instead of trying to learn a new organization and city.