Maple Leafs, Wild swap AHL forwards

The Minnesota Wild, parent club of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, have acquired left wing Robbie Earl from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for left wing Ryan Hamilton.

“Robbie adds the elements of speed and energy that will strengthen our prospect base and improve team speed and attack in Houston,” said Wild assistant general manager Tom Lynn.

Earl, 23, notched 10 points (2g, 8a) and 28 penalty minutes in 36 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this season. The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Chicago, Illinois made his NHL debut with the Maples Leafs last season recording one assist in nine games. Earl collected 121 points (58-63=121) in 125 games in three seasons at the University of Wisconsin. He was named to the 2004 WCHA All-Rookie Team and the 2006 NCAA Championship Tournament MVP helping lead the Badgers to a 2-1 win over Boston College in the championship game.

Earl will report to the Houston Aeros. He was originally selected by Toronto in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Hamilton, a 23-year-old Oshawa, Ont., native, played in 29 games for the Aeros this season, registering eight goals and four assists for 12 points with 24 penalty minutes. Last season, the 6-2, 219-pound left-winger played in 72 games and ranked second in Houston goals (20) and points (39).

Over the past three seasons, he has played in 163 games for Houston collecting 35 goals, 32 assists and 67 points, along with 98 minutes in penalties. Minnesota originally signed Hamilton as a free agent on July 5, 2006.