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  2. The Iowa Heartlanders are proud ECHL affiliates of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Iowa Wild.

The Iowa Heartlanders are proud ECHL affiliates of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Iowa Wild.


The Heartlanders are the "Double A" affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild. ECHL teams are an essential starting point in the development of NHL and AHL prospects.

Players start their development path in Coralville with the Heartlanders, then progress on to the AHL's Iowa Wild before reaching the Minnesota Wild.


The Minnesota Wild were named the Heartlanders' first-ever NHL Affiliate on June 10, 2021.

In the first season of the affiliation, goaltender Hunter Jones became the first player to make it from the Heartlanders to Minnesota (taxi squad). Jones then made Minnesota's 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs roster, serving as the third goaltender. 

The Wild have had a long history of advancing players from the ECHL to the NHL, as more than 30 former ECHL players have played for Minnesota. 

The Wild have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four of the last five seasons and ten times over the last 12.

The Heartlanders and Iowa Wild have shared tremendous success in player development since the two became affiliates at the start of the 2021-22 season. 

Each season of the affiliation, the Heartlanders have had about a dozen players called up to the Iowa Wild. In 2023-24, 14 Heartlanders reached the AHL. 

The Heartlanders' proximity to the Iowa Wild (112 miles) is a large benefit to both teams. It is the fourth-closest of any ECHL-AHL affiliation, just behind Reading-Lehigh Valley, Adirondack-Utica and Trois-Rivieres-Laval. Outside of the ECHL's North Division, no ECHL-to-AHL affiliation is closer in mileage than Coralville to Des Moines.

  • Nearly 40 players have been recalled from the Heartlanders to the AHL since the Heartlanders became an ECHL team in the 2021-22 season.
  • Hunter Jones became the first player ever to make it to the Minnesota Wild from the Heartlanders. 
  • Every team in the ECHL is affiliated with an NHL parent club.