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WINTERHAWKS: D-man Heinrich signs

NHL Capitals pick can play only six games this season with Portland


The Portland Winterhawks have added another NHL draft pick to their fold.

Defenseman Blake Heinrich, a fifth-round selection last year by the Washington Capitals, has signed with the Western Hockey League club — and could join the Hawks for a maximum of six games in the WHL playoffs.

The 18-year-old from Cambridge, Minn., will finish his United States Hockey League season with the Sioux City Musketeers. He has six goals and eight assists in 31 games this season. In 42 games with Sioux City last season he totaled three goals and 17 assists.

Sioux City's regular season runs through the first week of April, and the WHL playoffs begin in late March.

Portland coach/general manager Mike Johnston calls Heinrich a "dynamic player."

Even six games of WHL experience, however, would help Heinrich when he returns to Portland for the 2014-15 WHL campaign, Johnston says.

The Hawks chose Heinrich, a Sioux City captain, in the 12th round of the 2012 WHL bantam draft.