The Charlotte Checkers today announced that they have acquired center Blair Jones on loan from the Utica Comets. In a corresponding move, the Checkers have loaned center T.J. Hensick to Utica.
The Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte’s parent club, and the Vancouver Canucks, Utica’s parent club, also made an NHL trade that results in forward Dane Fox coming to Carolina in exchange for future considerations. The Hurricanes have assigned Fox to Charlotte.
Jones, a 29-year-old veteran of 10 professional seasons, has recorded 287 points (112g, 175a) and 41 penalty minutes in 453 career AHL games with Springfield, Norfolk, Abbotsford, Lehigh Valley and Utica. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, has twice eclipsed the 50-point mark in the AHL, including a career-high 55 points in 56 games in 2010-11 with Norfolk. This season, Jones, a fourth-round NHL draft pick in 2005 who has 132 games of NHL experience with Tampa Bay, Calgary and Philadelphia, has 15 points in 36 games with the Comets.
Fox, 22, is in his second professional season, spending the majority of the year with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. The Chatham, Ont., native leads all Kalamazoo skaters in goals (26), points (50) and penalty minutes (87), appearing in 53 games this season. Fox (6 feet, 185 pounds) ranked second among Wings players in goals (30) and penalty minutes (110) during his rookie season with Kalamazoo in 2014-15. Fox, who signedwith Vancouver as an undrafted free agent during his final season of junior hockey with the Erie Otters in 2013-14, led the OHL in goals that season, finding the net 64 times and totaling 107 points in 67 games played.
A four-time American Hockey League All-Star, Hensick, has appeared in 46 games for the AHL Charlotte Checkers this season, where he ranks tied for sixth on the team in scoring with 25 points (7-18-25). The 30-year old center was named to the 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 AHL All-Star teams. Hensick has amassed 456 points (137-319-456) in 484 AHL games including a 60 point campaign (19-41-60) for the Hamilton Bulldogs last year. In 112 NHL regular season games, split between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, Hensick has registered 38 points (12-26-38) and 18 penalty minutes.
Jones, Fox and Miller are all expected to be available as the Checkers’ continue their current home stand with game against the Chicago Wolves Tuesday at 7 p.m.