Islanders ECHL affiliate will not play for 2020-21 season

The New York Islanders ECHL affiliate Worcester Railers and another five teams in the ECHL will not play in 2020-21.

On Wednesday the ECHL made an announcement that all six of their teams from the North Division will not play in the 2020-21 season. The New York Islanders affiliate, Worcester Railers are one of those teams that won’t be playing this season.

According to the press release from the ECHL, without the ability to get fans in the arena it didn’t make sense for the Railers and the other five teams in the ECHL’s North Division to play in the 2020-21 season.

The other teams not participating this season are the Adirondak Thunder (New Jersey Devils), Brampton Beast (Ottawa Senators), Maine Mariners (New York Rangers), Newfoundland Growlers (Toronto Maple Leafs), and Reading Royals (Philadelphia Flyers).

No Fans, No Season

While not as heavily stocked with Islanders talent as the AHL is, the ECHL is still a place for some players in the Islanders system to cut their teeth.

Last year the Worcester Railers had goalies Linus Soderstrom and Jakub Skarek get some game time. Skarek played 14 games and averaged a 3.73GAA and 0.879SV%. Forward and sixth-round pick in 2017 Arnaud Durandeau played 15 games with the Railers in 2019-20 registering five goals and eight points.

We all knew that the COVID pandemic would have a number of consequences on the lower leagues. With very few revenue streams outside of gate receipts shutting it down for the season was the only option for these teams.

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Hopefully, this pandemic is over by the time the 2021-22 season gets underway and these teams can return to the ice again.

All players who have ECHL contracts for these six teams are now free agents according to the league’s release.