Team: Sioux City (USHL)
Blake Heinrich plays each and every shift with a physical nastiness. The University of Minnesota Duluth commit is a strong and durable defenseman that bull rushes opponents, forcing turnovers in the process. Heinrich made a seamless transition to the USHL, having a successful rookie season with Sioux City. Heinrich supplied a gritty defensive game while chipping in 3 goals, 17 assists, and 110 penalty minutes in 42 games played.
Heinrich is not big for a defenseman, (5’11-190) but what he lacks in height, he makes up for in strength. The former Hill-Murray star has good mobility and does an exceptional job at reading the play in front of him. Heinrich never gives the impression that he is guessing on a play as he has a natural instinct to be in the right place at the right time. An area of Heinrich’s game that needs improvement is his puck control skills. Advancement in this capacity would round out Heinrich’s offensive game and make him a complete player.
Overall Heinrich is a blue-collar worker on the ice that is a joy to watch thanks to his ability to play the body. Heinrich could be more offensive, but he’s a good coverage defender that gives very little space to opposing forwards. His playing style is similar to Dennis Seidenberg of the Boston Bruins.