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Edit: Drafted 50th Overall by Columbus Blue Jackets.
Dillon Heatherington has emerged as an important member of the Swift Current Broncos defence core this season. Heatherington has played top 4 minutes and been used in virtually every situation for the Broncos, helping squad a a 6th place finish in the WHL’s Eastern Conference and a spot in the playoffs. Unfortunately though, the Broncos fell to the heavily favored Calgary Hitmen in 6 games. Still the year served as a valuable learning experience for Heatherington and he should be back as one of the team leaders in Swift Current next year.
After the Broncos elimination, Heatherington was selected as a member of Canada’s Under 18 team and captured a gold medal at the recent IIHF Under 18 World Championships. AS a 16 year old he captured Bronze as a member of Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games.
Born May 9 1995 — Calgary, ALTA
Height 6.03 — Weight 195 — Shoots Right
Heatherington has a wide and powerful skating stride. He generates good speed, and has good acceleration, and decent first step quickness. This is true in both his backwards and forwards skating. He has decent pivots and is very mobile, but will need to get a little bit better in his edgework and turns. Heatherington has good balance and agility for his size, making him hard to knock off the puck and good in board battles.
At 6’3, Dillon Heatherington has the ideal size that NHL teams love in their defensemen. A strong defensive defender, Heatherington plays a very physical game as he just loves to throw out big hits or be involved in battles along the boards or in front of the net. Heatherington projects as a mean and nasty shutdown defender going forward. He uses his mobility to maintain good gap control, and he is hard to beat off the rush. Heatherington has good hockey sense, and anticipates plays well. He uses his long stick to and big frame to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He’s even show the willingness to drop the gloves on occasion.
Heatherington has started to show some offence this season. He makes a strong, crisp, and smart breakout pass, and gets the transition game for Swift Current started. With his speed he’s started to join the rush on occasion as he is able to get back and cover his own zone. Heatherington has become more poised with the puck on his stick, and makes smart passes in the offensive zone, waiting for openings to make plays. He has a decent slap shot which he keeps low and on target.
Heatherington plays a style that is reminiscent of Mattias Ohlund during his prime years in Vancouver. However this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on career projection. In terms of ceiling, Heatherington has the potential to be an effective two way defenceman on the second pairing in the NHL, if he is able to develop over the next few years. He will certainly need to bulk up to continue to play this style at the pro level.
Check back tomorrow for our number 52 prospect.
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