Ernie Hicke played junior hockey with the Regina Pats before turning pro with the Houston Apollos of the CPHL. After two seasons there and one with the WHL Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Ernie joined his older brother Billie's NHL squad, the California Golden Seals.
In his rookie season, Hicke combined 22 goals and 25 assists for a total 47 points in 78 games. He played a second full season for the Seals before being claimed by the Atlanta Flames in the 1972 Expansion Draft. During the 1972-73 season, he played 58 games for the Flames before being traded to the New York Islanders. Hicke played 76 games for the Islanders between 1973 and 1975 but managed just 21 points during what turned out to be the longest scoring slump of his career.
In January 1975 he was traded to Minnesota, where he started scoring again. He stayed with the Stars until the end of the 1976-77 season, when he was signed by the L.A. Kings. He played 41 games for the Kings, his last NHL team. After spending part of the 1977-78 season in the AHL, he played two seasons with the CHL Dallas Black Hawks before retiring from play in 1980.