New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced Monday that the club has agreed to terms with Seattle Thunderbirds left wing Barrett Heisten. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Heisten, 21, ranked second in scoring for the Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL), notching 20 goals and 57 assists for 77 points in 58 matches, along with 61 penalty minutes. He also ranked third among rookies with 77 points. Prior to joining Seattle, he spent two seasons with the University of Maine Black Bears and was a member of their 1999 NCAA Championship squad. In two seasons with the Black Bears, Heisten collected 25 goals and 40 assists for 65 points, along with 158 penalty minutes (1998-2000).
The 6-1, 191-pounder was originally drafted as the 20th overall selection in the first round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
The Anchorage, Alaska native was also a member of the United States team at the 1999 World Junior Championships, appearing in six matches, tallying two goals and four assists for six points.
"I'm very excited that this process is finally over and I'm very thrilled to be part of the New York Rangers organization," noted Heisten. "The Rangers have shown a great deal of interest in me and it's an amazing feeling to now be a part of their organization."
Rangers VP of Player Development and Assistant General Manager Don Maloney added, "We really liked him during his draft year in 1999. He's a very competitive and energetic player." ___________________________________________________
NOTES: * Heisten played alongside Rangers 1999 first round draft choice Jamie Lundmark on the club's top line in Seattle (WHL) this past season, after spending two years at the University of Maine. Heisten tied for second on the Thunderbirds with 77 points (20 goals, 57 assists), along with 61 penalty minutes in 58 games. On Lundmark ... "He's an unbelievable hockey player and I was fortunate to play a lot with him this past season. It's definitely going to be nice to see a familiar face at training camp in the fall."
* Lists Dallas Stars center Mike Modano and former Boston Bruin winger Cam Neely as his hockey role models. "Both of these guys have a tremendous passion for the game and it shows on every shift."
* Captured the 1999-00 NCAA Ice Hockey Championship with the University of Maine. He was also named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. On making the jump from college to the WHL ... "It was a great opportunity for me to compete at a high level and get used to the longer schedule. I learned a lot last year and really enjoyed my time in Seattle."
*Former NHLer and current Seattle Thunderbirds head coach Dean Chenowyth on Heisten ... "He's a good passer, a good skater and is pretty fundamentally sound. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg with his abilities. He has a lot more to offer and to bring." ___________________________________________________
NHL SCOUTING REPORT ON HEISTEN: A very good competitor who plays a physical game ... Very strong in the corners and will stand tough in front of the net ... Plays the body in all three zones, can deliver the big hit and does not shy away from mixing it up ... Will take a hit to make a play ... Hard-working and tenacious player who has an edge to his game ... Plays with grit and character ... Pressures the puck very well and finishes his checks ... An up-and-down winger who gets his chances by going hard to the net ... Very strong on the puck.