DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche will have a new American Hockey League affiliate in 2018-19 and a team that’s closer to home.

Colorado officials announced Tuesday that the Colorado Eagles will take over for the San Antonio Rampage as the Avs’ AHL affiliate. The AHL Board of Governors approved league expansion in July, with the Eagles set to come on board. The Eagles are located in Loveland — about 60 miles north of Denver — and will spend one final season as Colorado’s ECHL affiliate.

The Eagles started play in 2003, winning the Central Hockey League championship in 2004-05 and again in ’06-07. Last season, they captured the Kelly Cup as ECHL champions.

GM Joe Sakic says Avalanche fans can now see top prospects “developing in an outstanding environment just up the road.”