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Hurricanes, Islanders swap prospects

The Carolina Hurricanes, parent club of the AHL’s Albany River Rats, have acquired center Rob Hennigar from the New York Islanders, parent club of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in exchange for center Bobby Hughes, pending a physical.

Hennigar, 26, completed his first season of professional hockey in 2008-09, splitting the season between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. In 34 regular-season games with Bridgeport, Hennigar (5’11”, 194 lbs.) scored three goals and earned 10 assists (13 points).

The St. Catharines, Ont., native led Utah in assists (44), points (59) and plus/minus (+24) in 2008-09, despite playing in just 38 ECHL regular-season games with the Grizzlies. He also competed in all four of Bridgeport’s postseason games, scoring one goal.

Prior to turning professional, Hennigar spent four seasons with the University of New Brunswick Reds of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference in Canada. He collected many accolades during his collegiate career, including the 2007-08 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player of the year award. Hennigar spent four seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2000-04, prior to his four years at New Brunswick.

Hughes, 21, played the last two seasons for the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany River Rats. The Richmond Hill, Ont., native totaled 23 points with the River Rats in 53 games played over the course of the two seasons.

Hughes was originally selected by Carolina in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and signed a three-year entry level contract with the team on April 10, 2007, making his professional debut for Albany in the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Hershey Bears.

The 5’10, 180 pound center played four years in the Ontario Hockey League for the Kingston Frontenacs, where he finished his career with 103 goals and 150 assists for 253 points in 243 games.