The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced the Newfoundland Growlers as their new ECHL affiliate for the 2018-19 season.
The Growlers replace the Orlando Solar Bears as the Maple Leafs’ secondary affiliate and the primary affiliate of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Orlando was a Maple Leafs affiliate from 2013-18.
“We are excited to begin our relationship with the Newfoundland Growlers as our newest ECHL affiliate,” Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said in a release. “This is an important investment for our hockey club as we remain committed to giving our players the best resources possible to ensure their development and professional success. To now have our ECHL affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a town and province which has historically meant a lot to the Maple Leafs, is a truly special opportunity.”
“We would also like to extend our thanks to the Orlando Solar Bears organization for their five years as an affiliate and partner of our hockey club and wish them success in the future.”
The 2018-19 campaign marks the inaugural season for the Growlers. They will play out of Mile One Centre.
Toronto had previous affiliations with Reading, Columbia and Pensacola of the ECHL prior to the deal with Orlando in 2013.