FORT WAYNE - The Fort Wayne Komets have announced an affiliation agreement with the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup runners-up. The one-year contract links the ECHL franchise to the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL and the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. The Komets were previously affiliated with the NHL's Arizona Coyotes.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Komets President Michael Franke said his team has multiple connections to the NHL's newest franchise. "We are very well-acclimated to the Vegas organization," he said. "Their coach used to be our assistant coach here in Fort Wayne -- Gerard Gallant. The president of the team (former president of the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, Kerry Bubolz) is somebody that we have worked with in other leagues over the years and was a league partner with us in those leagues, so we do have an association with some of the people that are actually the decision-makers in Las Vegas."

For the 2016-2017 season, the Komets were unaffiliated with an NHL team after dropping ties with the Colorado Avalanche. Only the AHL's Hershey Bears have played more consecutive years of Minor League hockey than the Komets. The Fort Wayne organization led the ECHL in attendance last year and Franke says "we fully expect to do the same this year with around 7,800 fans a game."

Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee says "we are proud to add the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets as an affiliate. ECHL clubs play an important role in player development. Our young players and prospects will have the opportunity to grow and improve in both Fort Wayne at the ECHL level and then in Chicago at the American Hockey League level."

You can connect to more about the new affiliation by clicking here.