by Graham Kendrick
January 13, 2014, Portland (ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks have signed defenseman Blake Heinrich, a fifth round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2013 National Hockey League Draft.
Heinrich, 18, plays with the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League, and will join the Hawks at the conclusion of the Musketeers’ season. He has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 31 games this season. In 42 games in Sioux City last season he had three goals and 17 assists for 20 points.
“We have had discussions with Blake since drafting him about becoming a Winterhawk and are excited to announce that he will join us at the end of the year. He is a dynamic defenseman who is a perfect fit for our style of play. I expect he will be a big part of our future over the next two seasons as we rebuild our defense,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston.
“Right now Blake will remain in Sioux City of the USHL for the duration of their season. He is a captain there and from a developmental perspective it is the best situation for him right now. The way the rules work Blake will only be eligible to play six games this season but his time with us at the end of the year will help in his transition next season,” continued Johnston.
Heinrich, a native of Cambridge, Minnesota, will become the third player from the state on the Hawks’ roster, joining Paul Bittner and Keegan Iverson. While playing in Sioux City he had committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, but opted to join the Winterhawks instead.
Prior to joining Sioux City, Heinrich was considered one of the best high school players in the state of Minnesota while playing at Hill-Murray High School. He was drafted by the Hawks in the 12th round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.
Premier membership season tickets and 20-game plans for the 2013-14 season are on sale now. They start at only $37 per month and include playoffs. Visit winterhawks.com or call 503-236-HAWK to reserve the best seat locations.