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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 09:34

Heatherington puts on a new jersey in Newark

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While Newark, New Jersey isn't known for its picturesque scenery, but to Swift Current Broncos' defenceman Dillon Heatherington, there was no place more beautiful.


Watching Heatherington be interviewed by Bob McElligott of Jackets TV following his selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft, it looked like Heatherington had officially arrived.
The 6’4”, 196-pound native of Calgary was picked 50th overall, the first time ever a Bronco had be selected by the Columbus franchise.
Initially it’s a small eye-opener but in reality, it's not that much of a stretch considering the Western Hockey League scout for the Jackets is Andy Schneider, former Broncos' player and up until last year, an assistant coach with the team.
“I talked to Andy quite a bit prior to the draft,” explained Heatherington. “He was giving me tips and we had talked about it before about how to give answers while at the (NHL) combine. During the interviews, you get to pick up which team likes you. (That said) I didn't have too many expectations on when I was going to get drafted.
“Just being drafted by Columbus is an honour. I'm getting to learn a little bit more by the organization. Andy is a familiar face and he'll help guide me.”
Heatherington admitted he's going to be looking at a some depth charts and lists to see where he fits although he noted he should probably leave that. He just wants to learn more about Columbus as well as about the team.
“I want to try and find out as much information as I can. It's pretty exciting.”
It's been quite a week for Heatherington. On June 28, he was one of 35 players who were invited to attend Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp. It will be held Aug. 4-10 in Brossard, Quebec and Lake Placid, New York. He will also be at a prospects' camp July 8 in Columbus, which he's also excited about.
 While many of the higher draft picks were offensive juggernauts, Heatherington is much more known for being a defensive stalwart. This past season. he had a career-high four goals and 23 assists in 71 games. In 2011-12, he had two goals and 8 assists in 57 games. Even in AAA Midget, playing for the AAA Calgary Flames, he had 11 assists in 31 games. Heatherington was part of the Team Canada team which won took Gold at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, where he recorded one goal in seven games played.
Heatherington's development has been noted by the various scouting reports which can be found by internet searches.
One person besides his coaches he owes a lot to is defence partner over the last couple of years, Reece Scarlett.
Scarlett, a New Jersey draft pick in the 6th round of the 2011 draft has acted a mentor for the 18 year-old Heatherington, something Heatherington is fully aware and appreciative. “I've learned a lot the past few years being matched up with (Scarlett),” said Heatherington. “Not only what I've learned on the ice but off of it and how you conduct yourself. Just the way he carries himself, I've learned so much.”
It's been an education for Heatherington who added the entire experience in New Jersey was overwhelming.
“It's been so fun,” said Heatherington.
“It's a lot more (glitz and glamour than what he expected) with all the TV cameras, the big name GMs and all the famous NHL players.”

Read 942 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 14:33
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor