Another huge piece to the puzzle was added by the Cincinnati Cyclones today with the announcement that Bobby Hughes, who split last season between the Gwinnett Gladiators and Brampton Beast, would be joining the club for the 2015-2016 season. Hughes will occupy the third veteran spot, of a maximum four allowed on each ECHL roster. He’ll join Jack Downing and Mike Ratchuk as the team’s veteran leaders.
From the Cyclones’ Official Release:
“CINCINNATI, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones have signed forward Bobby Hughes for the 2015-2016 season. Hughes comes to Cincinnati after splitting time between the Gwinnett Gladiators and Brampton Beast last season.
“Bobby is a solid player who has experience in this league and brings a competitive edge every day,” said Cyclones Head Coach Matt MacDonald. “We know he can wear many different hats for us this season, and we are excited to have another proven player in our locker room.”
Drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, Hughes spent the bulk of last season in Brampton, accounting for 12 goals and 17 assists in 40 games played which ranked him sixth on the team in scoring with 29 points. He also found a scoring touch early in the season with Gwinnett, accounting for four points (2g, 2a) in eight games played.
A native of Richmond Hill, ONT, Hughes has seen time and success at multiple levels of professional hockey. In addition to Gwinnett and Brampton, his ECHL career has seen stops with the Alaska Aces, Florida Everblades, Fort Wayne Komets, and Utah Grizzlies. In 2012-13, his best ECHL season, he led the Aces to the ECHL Brabham Cup, presented to the League’s regular season champion, and a berth in the President’s Cup Finals. That season, he finished with career highs in goals (15) assists (24), and points (39). He also saw team highs in goals (9), assists (8) and points (17) in 11 playoff contests. In 162 career ECHL games, Hughes has totaled 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points.
Hughes’ professional career has also seen stints with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Albany River Rats and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and the Central Hockey League’s (CHL) Wichita Thunder. He also briefly skated for EHC 80 Nurnberg in Germany. In 290 career professional games, Hughes has accounted for 76 goals and 116 assists for 192 points.
Prior to turning pro in 2007, the 6’0” centerman enjoyed a stellar four-year junior career with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), totaling 103 goals and 150 assists in 243 games.”
Hughes will just add to the knowledge that will be in the Cincinnati locker room this season. He’s got the experience to help guide this team back in the right direction, and getting him on board was another huge step in doing just that.
Despite how dismal Brampton’s season was last year, Hughes’ was one of the few high points for the Beast. 29 points in 40 games with one of the ECHL’s worst teams shows that he can step up and lead the way. I’m sure he’ll be another huge asset to this season’s success.
However, I alluded to three “mystery signings” on Facebook and Twitter last week. This was not one of them so those three are still a mystery. But trust me, they’re some big signings in their own right. They’ll be worth the wait, trust me!