The Ottawa Senators have found an ECHL affiliate, reaching an affiliation agreement with the Allen Americans for an initial duration of one season. The Senators announced the news this morning jointly with their AHL affiliate in Belleville.
2022-23 will mark the first season that the Senators have had an ECHL affiliate since 2019-20, and only the second season out of the last six. Ottawa’s one-year partnership with the Brampton Beast in 2019-20 was beneficial, as the Beast provided a solid bit of development for goalie prospect Joey Daccord, now with the Seattle Kraken. The emergence of COVID-19 at the end of the season, however, forced the Beast franchise to cease operations.
Speaking of the Kraken, the Americans were the new NHL team’s first-ever ECHL affiliate last season. Earlier in the offseason, though, the Kraken opted to not re-sign their agreement with Allen and sign on with the Kansas City Mavericks instead. Allen brings a long history of success to the Senators organization; the franchise has only missed the CHL (Central, not Canadian Hockey League) or ECHL playoffs once since their inception in 2009-10. They were the winners of four straight CHL/ECHL championships from 2013 to 2016.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion gave the following statement on today’s announcement:
The Americans’ franchise carries a rich tradition of success. We’re looking forward to contributing to it in a positive manner when we begin placing prospects in Allen in 2022-23.
From Senators assistant general manager Ryan Bowness:
Chad Costello and his staff’s tutelage will help our prospects prepare for the next level. Player development is one of our most important priorities. We’re confident that placing prospects in Allen will be an asset to progression.
The Americans could have at least one NHL-contracted player returning from last season: goaltender Antoine Bibeau. The veteran minor-leaguer will be battling for the AHL backup spot behind Mads Sogaard in Belleville, and if he loses out, he could be sent back to Allen where he played 14 games last season.