The AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights announced on Friday that have they signed former Caps prospect Bear Hughes to a two-year AHL contract. The Vegas Golden Knights’ affiliate plucked Hughes from the Caps’ system as the 22-year-old forward spent his first pro season with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays last year.
The Caps originally selected Hughes with a fifth-round pick in 2020, 148th overall. Hughes was never signed to an NHL entry-level deal and the Caps’ rights to him expired last summer. The Hershey Bears kept him around after that though, signing him to a one-year deal which expired without him ever dressing in a game for Hershey.
To Bear – welcome to the Knights family! And to Matt – welcome home! 🐎https://t.co/Q1efjMDZAL
— Henderson Silver Knights (@HSKnights) July 7, 2023
Hughes leaves after being one of the South Carolina’s leading scorers as he posted 59 points (23g, 36a) in 66 games played. He was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game and added an additional six points (1g, 5a) in five Kelly Cup playoff games.
Before signing that one-year AHL deal with the Bears last offseason, Hughes had been in Hershey before on a tryout agreement basis during the 2022 AHL postseason. Hughes participated in the Bears’ training camp before their eventual Calder Cup winning campaign, but was cut just a couple of days before the team’s season-opening game.
He notched a hat trick for the Stingrays not long after.
AND THE HAT TRICK 🧢 HAVE A DAY, BEAR HUGHES! pic.twitter.com/sGGmHygeUc
— SC Stingrays (@SCStingrays) November 6, 2022
All four of the other Capitals draft picks from that 2020 draft class are still in the team’s organization. Hendrix Lapierre leads that crew and has already played NHL games while Bogdan Trineyev, Garin Bjorklund, and Oskar Magnusson all attended this past week’s development camp at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
Here’s the full release from the Silver Knights:
SILVER KNIGHTS SIGN HUGHES, BOUDENS TO AHL DEALS
HENDERSON (July 7, 2023) – Henderson Silver Knights General Manager Tim Speltz announced today, July 7, that the team has agreed to terms with forwards Bear Hughes and Matt Boudens on AHL contracts.
Hughes joins the Silver Knights on a two-year deal, while Boudens’ is a one-year contract for the 2023-24 season.
Hughes, 22, appeared in 66 games during his first professional campaign in 2022-23 with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. A fifth-round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 2020, Hughes tallied 23 goals and 59 points for the Stingrays and was selected to the All-Star Game.
Prior to joining the Stingrays, Hughes played parts of three seasons with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs between 2018 and 2022, totaling 42 goals and 116 points in 127 games and earning WHL Second All-Star Team honors in 2022. The Post Falls, Idaho native also played one USHL season for the Fargo Force in 2020-21, posting nine goals and 24 points in 35 contests.
Boudens, 29, is preparing for his sixth professional season. The Pembroke, Ontario native played 36 games last season for the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, serving as assistant captain and totaling five goals and 15 points. Boudens is a former Silver Knight, appearing in 30 games during the 2021-22 season and registering five assists and 45 penalty minutes.
The 5-foot-11 Boudens has played 123 ECHL games in his career, all with Fort Wayne, totaling 24 goals, 56 points, and 244 penalty minutes while winning a Kelly Cup in 2021. Prior to turning pro, Boudens played five seasons at the University of New Brunswick, recording 17 goals and 64 points in 135 games and winning three University Cup championships.
The Golden Knights have also announced that forward Ivan Morozov has been loaned to Spartak of the KHL. Morozov appeared in 58 games with the Silver Knights last season, logging six goals and 17 points.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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