Carolina Hurricanes sign new AHL affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves

The Carolina Hurricanes have a new American Hockey League affiliation with the Chicago Wolves.

If that sounds familiar, it should — the Wolves were also the Canes’ most recent AHL affiliate, prior to last season.

The Canes announced Thursday they had signed a three-year affiliation agreement with the Wolves and will oversee the team’s hockey operations. Chicago was Carolina’s AHL affiliate from 2020-2023, and the Calder Cup champion in 2022.

Canes president and general manager Don Waddell said Wednesday the team was close to finishing up a new AHL agreement. With no affiliation during the 2023-24 season, the Canes’ prospects and some signees were scattered throughout the AHL, ECHL and overseas, creating an unwieldy situation.

Waddell, in a statement Thursday, said the Canes were “thankful that we could find a solution which worked for both sides.”

“Many of our prospects have already had success with the Wolves, both individually and as a team, and we’re happy to have secured a consistent environment for their development.

The Hurricanes recently have signed several top prospects to entry-level contracts, including forwards Bradly Nadeau and Jackson Blake, and defenseman Scott Morrow. Each left their respective college programs — Nadeau at Maine, Blake at North Dakota, Morrow at UMass — to sign pro contracts, and could be with the Wolves next season to continue their development if they do not make the NHL roster.

Chicago played in two of three Calder Cup Finals from 2019-23, and the Wolves have captured five league championships in their history, including Calder Cups in 2002, 2008 and 2022.

The Wolves’ 2022 champions included current Hurricanes players Jalen Chatfield, Jack Drury, Pyotr Kochetkov and Stefan Noesen.

Founded by current owner Don Levin as an International Hockey League (IHL) expansion franchise in 1994, Chicago also won the IHL’s Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000. Since joining the AHL as the top affiliate for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2001, Chicago has also won eight division titles and four conference championships.