01/14/2015 4:37 PM
BRAMPTON – The Brampton Beast continue to add skill, experience, and NHL-draft calibre talent to their hockey club ahead of the team's 100th franchise game this weekend, as the Beast announced today the acquisition of two new players to the roster, forward Bobby Hughes from the Indy Fuel in exchange for future considerations, and defenseman Guy Leboeuf from the South Carolina Stingrays in exchange for forward Rob Ricci.
Hughes, a former 2006 4th round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, was traded to the Fuel from the Gwinnet Gladiators earlier this season, but did not skate with the team due to personal reasons.
“I’m really happy to be back playing in Canada,” said Hughes after his first on-ice with the team on Wednesday morning. “I’m from the area, just about an hour away, so it’s pretty exciting for me to be home. I haven’t competed here for quite a few years so I’m looking forward to my friends and family being able to come out and see me play.”
The 6’0”, 180-pound forward spent his entire junior career with the Kingston Frontenacs, where he scored 253 points in 243 games including 103 goals. In Hughes’ final season, the native of Richmond Hill truly flourished to the tune of scoring 40 goals and 56 assists (96 total points) in just 59 games.
“I think we are a very offensively talented team but we haven’t gelled to the extent that we should yet,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan of the signing. “Bringing Bobby in will make our top two lines very comparable in terms of speed and skill. It’s very hard to match up against, and it’s going to be tough for opposing teams playing against us. Our forward lines are very strong and are going to be a threat every shift.”
After finishing junior, Hughes would be called up for one playoff game to cap the 2006-07 season with the Albany River Rats, where he spent his next two professional seasons despite being limited to just 53 games due to injuries over two years. In 2009, Hughes was traded to the Islanders organization for Rob Hennigar. He would play for their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, as well as the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies.
Hughes has laced up his skates both with and against a number of his new Beast teammates over the course of his professional career, including spending half a season with forward Jason Dale, and seeing regular matchups against the Donati brothers and goaltender Trevor Cann.
“I see him fitting immediately into our top-six,” said Beast head coach Brent Hughes, who expects the team’s newest forward to be game-ready for the weekend. “The reason for him not playing earlier this season was not due to injury, it was for personal reasons. He wants to be here and he wanted to sign in Brampton. He’s excited to play, and I’m excited to see him out there. I know a lot of guys in our locker room are very familiar with him and they’re excited that he’s a part of our hockey club.”
Defenseman Guy Leboeuf will add size and strength to the Beast’s blueline. The 6’5”, 215-pound defenseman has played 27 ECHL games so far this season, in addition to a 14 game stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL last year. He was invited to the Arizona Coyotes rookie camp earlier this season, playing with Team Canada sensation and top-prospect Max Domi. Know for his ability to shut down the opposition’s best offensive players, Leboeuf will be a key part of the Beast’s defensive core moving forward.
Fans can see Hughes in action when the Beast take on the Wheeling Nailers for a three-game set at the Powerade Centre this weekend. With the purchase of a ticket to the game on Friday night, fans gain free access to the Guns N Hoses match scheduled directly before the Beast game. The first 100 kids in attendance will also receive a free fire helmet courtesy of Brampton Fire. Saturday is Hockey Day in Brampton, where local minor hockey teams will have the opportunity to play on the same ice as their ECHL heroes, while Sunday is Beach Day at the Powerade Centre, where fans can have fun in the sun and participate in a Paper Airplane Toss during the second intermission to win two FREE Flights! Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at Bramptonbeast.com or by calling 905-564-1684.