Jun 14, 2024

SAN JOSE, CA – The San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) announced today that the team has re-signed their affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder for the 2024-25 season. 

"We’re excited to be back in Wichita for another season," said Sharks Assistant General Manager and San Jose Barracuda (AHL) General Manager Joe Will. "With such a heavy emphasis on scouting and development in the Sharks organization, our ECHL affiliation is critical to our player development plan. Under the leadership of Bruce Ramsey and Joel Lomurno, we are confident that our prospects will be given the tools to develop." 

The Thunder will be entering their eleventh season as a member of the ECHL and 33rd season as a franchise, having previously played in the now-defunct Central Hockey League since 1993. Wichita were Central Hockey League champions in 1994 and 1995 and made the Finals in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013 before joining the ECHL in 2014. They finished tied for 24th in the league in the 2023-24 regular season after earning a 27-35-9-1 record. 

Joel T. Lomurno serves as the franchise’s general manager and was selected as the ECHL Executive of the Year for 2021-22. Bruce Ramsay serves as the team’s head coach and was named ECHL Head Coach and GM of the Year after the 2020-21 season. Matt Brokaw serves as the club’s Vice President and the Thunder play in the INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. 

“I'm excited to be working with San Jose for another season,” said Thunder Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. “Last year, we saw several talented players that came from their system, including goalies Magnus Chrona and Georgi Romanov who played in Wichita and made it all the way to the Sharks, which is a pleasure to help them reach their dream of playing in the NHL. I was pleased with the progress of several players who spent a significant amount of time here. We look forward to growing our partnership and working together to ensure success at each level for all three teams.” 

Sharks Assistant Coach Scott Gordon (Johnstown Chiefs) was the first ECHL graduate to ever play in the NHL, while NHL Goaltending Coach Thomas Speer (Idaho Steelheads and Las Vegas Wranglers) also played in the ECHL. 

Sharks Head Coach Ryan Warsofsky (South Carolina, 2016-18) and Gordon (Roanoke Express, 1998-00) have also served as head coaches in the ECHL, while Speer spent three seasons as a goaltending coach with the Allen Americans (2014-17) while they were affiliated with the Sharks. 

The Thunder were previously affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers (2017-2022) and Ottawa Senators (2016-17). 


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