The Hurricanes announced the trade Friday night, about 90 minutes after their 3-0 win over Washington.
Ponikarovsky logged 12 minutes of ice time against the Capitals while skating on the Hurricanes' fourth line. He had seven goals and eight assists in 49 games with Carolina, which signed him over the summer to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.
Sova, 23, is in his first full professional season and has split the year between the Devils' AHL affiliate in Albany and their ECHL team in Kalamazoo.
The Hurricanes also will receive New Jersey's fourth-round pick in this year's draft.