Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rangers Sign Finnish Defenseman

According to Ranger Rants:
The Rangers have agreed to terms with 24-year-old Ilkka Heikkinen, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound Finn who had eight goals and 26 assists with HIFK Helsinski of the SM-liiga.
His stats from last season in Finland [here]

According to Blue Notes:
A free agent, Heikkinen, 24, skated in 54 games with HIFK Helsinki of the SM-liiga this past season, registering eight goals and 26 assists for 34 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. His 34 points ranked third among all SM-liiga defensemen. He led all HIFK defensemen in goals (eight), assists (26) and points, while finishing second on the team overall in assists, fourth in points and seventh in goals.
Found these videos of him on YouTube (he's #49), he had a few goals and assists in this game [video] and here's another [video]. Obviously the competition is not anything compared to the NHL, but it's just an idea of what skills the kid brings to either the Rangers or Wolf Pack.

Time will tell whether he is expected to play in New York next season or in Hartford. He'll likely be given a shot in camp along with Sauer, Gilroy, Potter and Sanguinetti to make the Rangers in September - as it's almost a guarantee that there will be changes on the blue line before next season (ie. Morris & Mara).

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