For the third year in a row, the Flyers will be keeping their entire farm system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The team announced today that they’ve renewed their agreement with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, and that it’s a multi-year pact.
The Flyers originally affiliated with the Royals back in early June 2014, and that two-year deal expired this offseason.
“We are pleased to extend and continue our relationship with the Royals,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. “Reading has created a long-term culture of success and has provided our prospects a positive environment that is important in the development of their careers. The geographic proximity of our minor league affiliations in Lehigh Valley and Reading gives our coaches and scouting department the best possible platform to evaluate and promote the advancement of our prospects within the Flyers system.”
It’s obviously a local connection here, which helps with scouting and any other number of factors for the players, and most Reading fans are Flyers fans as well, so it’s really a match made in heaven. As you might be able to guess based on the name of the team and a quick glance at their logo, the Royals were the ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings (and the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs) for the majority of their early existence. They’ve also been affiliated with Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins throughout the years.
Much of the ECHL-level affiliation doesn’t really impact the Flyers at the NHL level, but the ripple effects of injuries and call ups in Philadelphia impact the squad in Reading. As Ron Hextall continues to build the organization’s depth from empty pantry to that of a Doomsday Prepper, the affiliation agreements at lower levels will only become more important.
The Royals won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup title in 2013. They finished third in the East Division last season before losing in seven games to the Wheeling Nailers in the Conference Semifinal round.