Alexei Ponikarovsky Traded to Devils

And so it begins...

In news released after the game last night, the Hurricanes traded winger Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Joe Sova and a fourth round draft pick in this year's draft. This should be just the first of many deals to come for Carolina roster players before the ensuing trade deadline.

With Poni gone, that opens a spot for Chad LaRose, who might be ready to return from his injury. LaRose was dressed in a suit and was ready to travel with the team last night.

Sova has played in both the ECHL and AHL so far this season. He will be assigned to Charlotte for now. The team's official press release follows:

CANES ACQUIRE SOVA AND DRAFT PICK FROM DEVILS

Trade sends Alexei Ponikarovsky to New Jersey

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Joe Sova and the New Jersey Devils’ 2012 fourth-round draft pick from the Devils in exchange for forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.

"This trade brings the Hurricanes assets for the future, and gives the young players in our system the opportunity to gain more NHL experience this year," said Rutherford. "We thank Alexei for his hard work during his time with the Hurricanes and wish him good luck in the future."

Sova, 23, is in his first full professional season after playing three seasons with the University of Alaska of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The Berwyn, IL, native has notched two goals and earned two assists (4 points) in 14 American Hockey League (AHL) games this season with the Albany Devils, and also has earned seven points (2g, 5a) in 18 ECHL games this season with Kalamazoo. Before turning professional, Sova (6’3", 195 lbs.) played 115 games with the Nanooks in three collegiate seasons, scoring 13 goals and earning 45 assists (58 points). The Devils signed Sova as a free agent following the conclusion of the 2010-11 collegiate season. His career statistics are below.

The Carolina Hurricanes will wrap up a back-to-back set of games on Saturday on Long Island against the New York Islanders (7 p.m., FOX Sports Carolinas HD, Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes will return to the RBC Center on Monday, Jan. 23, to face the Winnipeg Jets in Carolina’s final game before the All-Star break. For information on 2011-12 Carolina Hurricanes ticket packages, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com, or call 1-866-NHL-CANES.

JOE SOVAS CAREER STATISTICS

REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS

YEAR TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM GP G A PTS PIM

2005-06 Waterloo USHL 40 2 5 7 40 - - - - -

2006-07 Sioux City USHL 58 4 19 23 86 7 1 0 1 16

2007-08 Omaha Lancers USHL 59 7 11 18 98 14 1 2 3 40

2008-09 Alaska CCHA 39 3 7 10 42 - - - - -

2009-10 Alaska CCHA 39 6 18 24 30 - - - - -

2010-11 Alaska CCHA 37 4 20 24 60 - - - - -

Albany AHL 11 1 3 4 2 - - - - -

2011-12 Kalamazoo ECHL 18 2 5 7 22 - - - - -

Albany AHL 14 2 2 4 0 - - - - -

AHL Totals (2 Seasons) 25 3 5 8 2 - - - -

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