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The Carolina Hurricanes sign a new AHL affiliate 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 be – the Wolves were also the Canes' youngest AHL affiliate before last season.

The Canes announced Thursday that they have 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 to 2023 and was the 2022 Calder Cup champion.

Canes president and general manager Don Waddell said Wednesday the team is close to finalizing a new AHL contract. Because the Canes had no affiliation for the 2023-24 season, the Canes' prospects and some of their new signings were scattered across the AHL, ECHL and overseas, creating a confusing situation.

Waddell said in a statement Thursday that the Canes were “grateful that we were able to find a solution that worked for both parties.”

“Many of our young talents have already enjoyed success at Wolves, both individually and as a team, and we are pleased to have created a consistent environment for their development.

The Hurricanes recently 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 professional contracts and could be with the Wolves next season to continue their development if they don't make it to the NHL -Create squad.

Chicago appeared in two of three Calder Cup Finals from 2019 to 2023, and the Wolves have won five championships in their history, including the Calder Cup in 2002, 2008 and 2022.

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

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

Anna Harden

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