Hurricanes deal Ponikarovsky to Devils for Sova

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired defenseman round draft pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Alexei Ponikarovsky on Friday night.

Sova, 23, is in his first professional season after playing three seasons for the University of Alaska of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

In 14 games this season with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League, Sova has registered two assists and four points.

"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," Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We thank Alexei for his hard work during his time with the Hurricanes and wish him good luck in the future."

Ponikarovsky, a 12-year NHL veteran, has struggled this season with Carolina, registering just seven goals and 15 points in 48 games.

The Russian-born winger heads to New Jersey to team up will fellow Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk to give the Devils some extra scoring punch as they make a push toward the playoffs.

Ponikarovsky broke into the NHL in 2000-01 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and played eight full seasons in Toronto before being dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline in 2009-10. He then signed with the Los Angeles Kings for the 2010-11 campaign before landing in Carolina.

In 603 career games, Ponikarovsky has registered 128 goals and 168 assists for 296 points and is a plus-39.