Former first-rounder acquired in exchange for Danny Richmond
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Jan. 20, 2006
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Anton Babchuk (AN-tawn bab-CHUHK) from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Danny Richmond. The two teams will also swap a pair of fourth-round draft picks as part of the deal. The Hurricanes will receive Chicago’s fourth-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The Blackhawks will receive Columbus’ fourth-round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, which Carolina acquired in a trade with the Blue Jackets at the 2005 draft. Babchuk will join the Hurricanes for tomorrow night’s game in Washington.
“Anton is a big, strong defenseman who will add depth to our blue line,” Rutherford said. “He is a former first-round pick, and he is a complement to the defensemen we now have in our organization.”
Babchuk, 21, is currently in his third professional season in North America and has split the year between Chicago (NHL) and Norfolk of the American Hockey League (AHL). In 17 games with Chicago, he has registered five points (2g, 3a) and 16 penalty minutes, scoring his first NHL goal on Dec. 15 at Nashville. The Kiev, Ukraine, native has tallied 12 points (5g, 7a) in 24 games with Norfolk this season.
Babchuk (6’5’’, 202 lbs.) spent all of the 2004-05 season with Norfolk, tallying 24 points (8g, 16a) and 88 penalty minutes and representing Planet USA at the 2005 Dodge All-Star Classic. He made his NHL debut with Chicago during the 2003-04 season, registering two points (0g, 2a) in five games and notching his first NHL point with an assist at Detroit on Jan. 14, 2004. He also played 73 games with Norfolk in 2003-04, and was named to the AHL All Star Team for the 2004 Pepsi All-Star Classic, capturing the hardest shot contest title during the All-Star weekend with a 99.6 mph blast. A first-round selection (21st overall) of the Blackhawks in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Babchuk played in the top Russian professional league as an 18-year-old before joining the Blackhawks organization. He represented Russia at the 2001 and 2002 Under-18 World Junior Championships, capturing a gold medal in 2001 and a silver medal in 2002.
The Carolina Hurricanes look to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 10 games when they face the Washington Capitals at MCI Center in Washington on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). The team then returns to Raleigh to host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). Individual tickets for all Hurricanes games at the RBC Center, including Ron Francis Night on Saturday, Jan. 28, can be purchased at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, by calling 919-834-4000 or via CarolinaHurricanes.com. For information on Hurricanes season-ticket packages and mini-season ticket plans, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES.