The Winnipeg Jets have found another home to grow their prospects.

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This article was published 8/9/2011 (3732 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets have found another home to grow their prospects.

True North and the Jets, along with their American Hockey League affiliate the St. John’s IceCaps, now have a partnership with the Colorado Eagles as their ECHL affiliate for the 2011-12 season.

"We are excited to add the Colorado Eagles as an affiliate for the upcoming season," said Jets’ Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager Craigh Heisinger in a statement.

"Player development is one of the most important elements for long-term success and we know Colorado will provide a great opportunity for some of our young players to gain valuable experience and new skills. As the Winnipeg Jets inaugural season approaches, we really look forward to a great first year with the Eagles organization."

The Colorado Eagles were established in 2002 and played their first season a year later. Their first eight seasons were in the Central Hockey League where they recorded the highest regular-season winning percentage of any professional team in North America (.715).

The Eagles made the CHL finals five times in those eight seasons, winning championships in 2005 and 2007, finished first overall three times and were twice honoured with the Franchise of the Year award. They are currently coached by Chris Stewart and former Manitoba Moose forward Greg Pankewicz.

The Eagles have sold out every one of their home games and hold the minor pro-hockey record for consecutive sell outs at 311.

"We're very excited about this affiliation and about being a part of the development of outstanding young players who are on their way to the highest level of our sport," said Colorado Eagles President and GM Chris Stewart.

"We feel this relationship will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved. We'll be able to help in the development of some NHL's draft choices, and the Jets and IceCaps will be able to send their prospects to a professional environment."

The Eagles will open their first season in the ECHL on October 14 against the Stockton Thunder.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca