(Photo by James West)
The Carolina Hurricanes have traded center Bobby Hughes to the New York Islanders in exchange for center Rob Hennigar.
The 26-year-old Hennigar, last listed at 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, split his first professional season in 2008-09 between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies.
In 38 contests with the Grizzlies, Hennigar tallied 15 goals and 44 assists for 59 points. With the Sound Tigers, he landed 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in 34 games.
The Jordan, Ontario-native spent the previous four years at the University of New Brunswick. He led his team in scoring for four consecutive seasons, shattering university records with 177 points, including 131 assists, in 108 career games. In 2007-08, Hennigar was named Canadian college player-of-the-year.
Prior to getting his education, Hennigar spent four seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. In 278 OHL contests with Windsor, he racked up an impressive 92 goals and 152 assists for 244 points.
Now acquired by Carolina, Hennigar is scheduled to skate somewhere between Albany and Florida in 2009-10.
Taking Hennigar's spot in Bridgeport will be Bobby Hughes, who spent the past two seasons with the River Rats.
Originally from Richmond Hill, Ontario, the 21-year-old Hughes, last listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, is one of several Rats to be crippled by an unlucky streak of injuries.
In two years with Albany, Hughes was limited to only 53 contests.
Drafted by Carolina in the fourth round in 2006, Hughes officially kicked off his professional career in 2007. He played just 26 games before suffering a season-ending neck injury. He marked a solid 16 points before his rhythm was interrupted.
In 2008-09, Hughes played seven games early in the season, but was put back on the shelf until mid-February, just in time to be re-injured in the team's bus crash. Hughes was cleared to play in March and skated in 16 games during the final stretch, notching two goals and two assists.
From 2003 to 2007, Hughes spent four years with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. In his final junior year, Hughes was one of the league's top ten scorers, landing 96 points (40 G, 56 A) in 59 regular season games.
If Hughes can stay healthy, he should develop into a nice prospect for the Isles.
According to the Hurricanes' press release, completion of the trade is subject to a physical of Hughes by 3 p.m. on Thursday.