Newest Teams in the AHL
The American Hockey League (AHL) is constantly changing and evolving. You’re likely to see one or even two new teams enter the league each year. Sometimes, you’ll even see a lot of these new teams if they’re in the same division as the WBS Penguins. However, with 32 teams in the league, it can be challenging to keep up with the new additions each season.
In the past few seasons, we’ve seen several new teams join the AHL, including changes to one in the Atlantic Division. How familiar are you with the newest AHL teams?
Henderson Silver Knights
The Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, joined the AHL during the 2020-21 season, which had a delayed start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this, the franchise owned the San Antonio Rampage from 2002-2020. Located in Henderson, Nevada, the Silver Knights belong to the AHL’s Pacific Division.
In their first season, the Silver Knights were the top seed in the Pacific Division and made it to the final round of the Division Championship, where they lost to the Bakersfield Condors. They made it to the 2022 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs, where they lost in the first round to the Colorado Eagles.
While the Bridgeport Islanders have only been in the league since the 2021-22 season, many WBS Penguins fans are already familiar with the team. Located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the affiliate team of the New York Islanders played against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins several times during the first season as the newest team in the Atlantic Division.
The team previously operated as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who also played against the WBS Penguins on many occasions, including during the Calder Cup Playoffs for several years.
Based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, the Abbotsford Canucks joined the AHL during the 2021-22 season. However, their franchise has a much longer history in professional hockey and dates back to 1932, making it one of the oldest franchises. The franchise previously operated as the Utica Comets from 2013-2021.
The Abbotsford Canucks are the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and belong to the Pacific Division.
The 2022-23 season is the first for the Calgary Wranglers, located in Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Wranglers are another new addition to the Pacific Division and are the affiliate team of the Calgary Flames. They previously operated as the Stockton Heat, beginning in 2015.
Coachella Valley Firebirds
The Coachella Valley Firebirds, based in Thousand Palms, California, began their first season in the AHL during the 2022-23 season. Unlike many other current AHL teams, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, part of the Pacific Division, have no franchise history. The Coachella Valley Firebirds are also the affiliate team of the newest NHL team, the Seattle Kraken, founded in 2021.
Follow Along with the WBS Penguins for the 2022-23 Season
There’s still plenty of time left during the 2022-23 season to enjoy a Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins home game. We have many home games coming up for you to come out and support your favorite AHL team. Get your tickets for our next game today!