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Avalanche sign top draft pick Mitchell Heard

Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 8:58 PM / News

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Avalanche sign top draft pick Mitchell Heard
The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday they have signed forward Mitchell Heard, their top pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday they have signed forward Mitchell Heard, their top pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Heard, a 20-year-old center, was taken in the second round (No. 41). Last season with the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League, he had 57 points (29 goals, 28 assists) in 57 games.

"We are pleased to have Mitchell under contract," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said in a statement. "He is coming off a strong season in the OHL and we are excited to see him at training camp."

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward is a native of Bowmanville, Ontario.

The Avalanche traded their first-round pick to the Washington Capitals in a 2011 deal for goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

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He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter