Canucks sign former Everett defenseman

  • By Nick Patterson / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2006 9:00pm
  • Sports

EVERETT – One of the Everett Silvertips’ originals is getting a crack at the big time.

Former Silvertips defenseman Shaun Heshka signed an entry-level, three-year contract with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

Heshka probably will play the upcoming season for Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate in Manitoba. The Canucks recently parted ways with their East Coast Hockey League affiliate in Columbia, S.C., which would have been Heshka’s other possible destination.

“I am thrilled to sign my first pro contract with the Vancouver Canucks organization,” Heshka said in a statement. “My time spent here in Everett was a great experience and I would like to thank the Silvertips organization and the Everett fans for their help and dedication.”

Heshka is the sixth former Silvertip to sign an NHL contract, joining forwards Riley Armstrong and John Lammers, defensemen Ivan Baranka and Mitch Love, and goaltender Michael Wall.

Heshka, 20, came to Everett in 2003 as a player who’d been passed up by the rest of the WHL, and he was originally sent home during the Silvertips’ inaugural training camp. However, Heshka was later called back and in his three seasons with Everett he progressed from an afterthought into a two-time assistant captain and all-star.

The 6-foot-1, 206-pound native of Melville, Saskatchewan, is the second-leading scorer in Everett franchise history with 107 points. His career totals for games (204) and assists (82) are both franchise records.

Last season as an overage player, Heshka finished second on the team in scoring with 59 points (10 goals, 49 assists), was second in the league in scoring among defensemen and was named a second-team Western Conference All-Star.

“Shaun played a huge role in the success of our club over the past three seasons and we wish him the best of luck,” Everett director of business operations Zoran Rajcic said in a statement. “We are excited that he will be joining the Canucks organization and we think that is a great opportunity for him.”

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