ESTERO, Fla – Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush announced today that the Everblades have extended their affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
The Everblades have served as a developmental affiliate for the Predators and their primary developmental affiliate, the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals since the 2019-20 season.
“We are thrilled to extend our NHL affiliation agreement with the Nashville Predators,” Craig Brush, Everblades President and General Manager said. “President of Hockey Operations & General Manager David Poile has done a tremendous job developing the Preds’ franchise into one of the most competitive teams in the NHL. We are very excited to continue being an integral part of the player development process for the Predators & Milwaukee Admirals.”
In 2020-21, fifth-year Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Brad Ralph led the Everblades to a 42-19-8 record (92 points) and the top spot in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference in the regular season. Among the players signed by the Predators who helped Florida secure a playoff spot included forwards Jeannot, Smith, Patrick Harper and Tommy Novak and goaltender Devin Cooley. Jeannot and Smith both went on to make their NHL debuts with Nashville during the 2020-21 campaign and were one of just three players last season to play in the NHL, AHL and ECHL.
“We look forward to seeing our prospects develop with the Everblades and continue their rich history of winning at the ECHL level,” Poile said. “We feel this is a partnership that will continue to benefit the Predators, Admirals and Everblades moving forward.”
The previous season – Florida’s first as a Nashville affiliate – the team went 43-13-6, claiming second place in the South Division, before the postseason was canceled due to COVID-19. The 2019-20 campaign saw the Everblades win at least 43 games for the sixth straight season and outscore their opponents by 64 goals.
Since joining the NHL in 1998, the Predators have become perennial contenders. The Predators have made the playoffs seven years in a row, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
Founded in the same year as the Nashville Predators, the Everblades have established a reputation as one of the best teams in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), making the playoffs 22 times in 23 seasons. Prior to signing an agreement with the Predators, the Blades were affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes for 21 seasons.
In addition to Jeannot and Smith, among the Everblades alumni to move on to the NHL after playing for the team include Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Carolina Hurricanes forward Steven Lorentz and former Predators players Matt Hendricks, Shane Hnidy and Jason Morgan.
The ECHL is the leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. The league began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and now spans coast-to-coast, with 27 teams playing in 22 states and provinces. There have been 698 players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including 20 who made their NHL debuts during the 2020-21 season.
JOIN THE FUN
Become a member of the Florida Everblades family by securing a great seat location and big savings with a Blades 365 Membership!
Purchase a new Voucher 12 package that allows you to use 12 tickets in any quantity during the 2021-22 season to earn the exclusive benefits of being a Blades 365 Member! To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options click HERE.
Opening Night on October 23 against the Jacksonville Icemen and the 2021-22 season is fast approaching. Secure your ticket packages today!
Everblades put the FUN in FUNdraising! There is no handling of money or tickets and no limit to the amount of money your group can make with the Everblades easy-to-run online Fundraiser! For more information, or to reserve a Fundraiser Night at an Everblades regular season home game, call or text (239) 948-7825.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Stay up to date by following the Florida Everblades on Social Media with all the latest news, scores and promotions on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, and Twitter.
The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.