SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the Colorado Eagles have been approved as an expansion franchise for the 2018-19 season.
The Eagles will be the new primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche when they begin play in the AHL’s Pacific Division at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., in October 2018.
The Eagles’ application for membership was approved by the AHL Board of Governors during the league’s Annual Meeting in July, and brings the AHL up to 31 teams for the first time.
Originally founded in 2003, the Colorado Eagles franchise has won three league championships, as members of the Central Hockey League (2005, 2007) and the ECHL (2017).
The AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, who are currently the Avalanche’s top affiliate, have entered into an affiliation with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues that will also take effect in 2018-19.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.