The Carolina Hurricanes are affiliated with the Charlotte Checkers in the American Hockey League and the Florida Everblades in the East Coast Hockey League.
The Carolina Hurricanes partnered with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League in 2010-11. The first season of the agreement marked the Checkers' first season in the American Hockey League after 17 seasons in the ECHL. Head Coach Jeff Daniels and Assistant Coach Geordie Kinnear guide the team of Carolina prospects from behind the bench.
The Hurricanes will join just three other U.S.-based NHL teams – Detroit, Chicago and Dallas – whose AHL affiliates are located less than 200 miles away and in the same state.
The Hurricanes ECHL affiliate is the Florida Everblades, based in Estero, Florida. Peter Karmanos, owner of the Hurricanes, also owns the ECHL franchise and Germain Arena, home of the Everblades. The ECHL is a step below the AHL, and often serves as the starting point for newly-signed Hurricanes prospects. Current Hurricanes penalty-killing specialist Chad LaRose began his pro career with the Everblades and is one of several hundred players to spend time in both the ECHL and the NHL.
National Hockey League teams do not have junior hockey affiliates, however, Peter Karmanos does own a junior franchise, the Plymouth Whalers of the Canadian Hockey League. The Canadian Hockey League is comprised of three separate divisions, the Western Hockey League, the Ontario League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Teams in the CHL play roughly 68-72 games a season and the teams are made up of players aging 16-20. The CHL would most closely be compared with college athletics in terms of the development process of players. Based on this format, Hurricanes' draft picks, which were drafted while playing in the CHL, will continue to play with their respective junior teams until they are recalled by the franchise. As a side note, through an agreement between with CHL and the NHL, a player under the age of 20 cannot play in the AHL. However, a player who is under the age of 20 can be recalled to the NHL team.