Stockton Thunder

Islanders partner with Stockton for ECHL affiliation

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The New York Islanders making the playoffs last season has given them a taste for success and now they want their prospects to get that in the minor leagues.

The team announced today they’ve signed an affiliation agreement with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. Isles GM Garth Snow spoke glowingly of the Thunder.

“We are thrilled to have the Stockton Thunder join the Islanders as the organization’s ECHL affiliate,” general manager Garth Snow said. “The culture of success in Stockton will benefit our prospects and develop them into better hockey players as they work their way from the ECHL, to the AHL and eventually playing for the New York Islanders.”

Stockton has made the ECHL playoffs each of the last seven seasons and lost in the Kelly Cup finals to Reading this past year. In case you didn’t know, the ECHL is a level below the AHL in the minors.

Oilers prospect receives 21-game suspension from ECHL

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Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss did a bad, bad thing.

The Latvian product was suspended for 21-games and fined an undisclosed amount by the ECHL for delivering a two-handed slash to the face of an unsuspecting opponent, causing an injury.

Pelss, currently playing for the Stockton Thunder, committed the brutal penalty on December 1 in a game against Bakersfield. What may surprise you is that he’s not exactly a goon. In 13 games with the Thunder, Pelss had just 15 penalty minutes. Now he’ll have until mid-January to think about what he did.

That kind of suspension is rare to see in any level of hockey, although we’ve seen Phoenix’s Raffi Torres get a similar suspension for his head-hit on Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs.