Blake Heinrich Forgoes UMD Commitment, Chooses Portland

Minnesota Duluth's future blue-liners group just got a bit bare after Washington Capitals prospect and Sioux City Musketeer Blake Heinrich chose to forgo his commitment to the University of Minnesota Duluth and skate for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (Major Junior).

Heinrich, who signed his National Letter of Intent this past November, has scored six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 31 games thus far in his second season with the Sioux City Musketeers.

Heinrich is a former Hill-Murray Pioneer back when he played Minnesota High School Hockey and is known as a very physical defenseman.

The following is from a the Portland Winterhawk's Press Release:

“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.

It's always a shame to see kids de-commit to schools, especially after an NLI has already been signed.  Just another example of what Major Junior teams have capabilities of doing when NCAA teams limit communication.

In the end, a player must do what's best for themselves.  Heinrich will be replaced in the long-run, but will be missed on the line.


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Anonymous said...

Hard to blame major junior if a kid can't get into school.