— ECHL (@ECHL) July 31, 2015
The Tulsa Oilers signed an agreement with the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, becoming their official ECHL affiliation for the 2015-2016 season.
Last year the Jets shared their Ontario Reign affiliation with the Los Angeles Kings.
This move gives the Jets some more flexibility with their development process, which may be needed with the influx of talent graduating to pro-level hockey this year.
The Jets this year look to graduate a slew of players from college and junior level hockey.
Joshua Morrisey, Nic Petan, Eric Comrie, Jan Kostalek, Jimmy Lodge, Chase De Leo and Axel Blomqvist all completed their final year of CHL, withstanding an overage return. Andrew Copp also signed an entry level contract last year, leaving the NCAA.
In addition, the Jets had Peter Stoykewych, Brenden Serville, and Aaron Harstad graduate college, and have signed AHL contracts with the organization.
Having eleven players move to pro-level hockey is a dramatic shift on the organization, especially one that carried a very young AHL team already with JC Lipon, Brenden Kichton, Connor Hellebuyck, Scott Kosmachuk, Ryan Olsen, Joel Armia, and Austen Brassard all in their first or second pro-season.
This gives the Jets an opportunity to deploy the ECHL as a true AA team.
While many teams tend to use the ECHL as a place where prospects go to die, the Jets can use their ECHL franchise as a road to the AHL squad.
Kyle Dubas once spoke on how the Toronto Maple Leafs look to use the ECHL as a comparative advantage in their developmental system.
The Jets can now do the same here.