Heinonen, K-Wings agree to terms

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, have inked rookie forward Tyler Heinonen to a contract for the 2017-18 season.

Heinonen was signed by the K-Wings at the end of last season, appearing in five games with Kalamazoo following the conclusion of his career at Michigan Tech University. The native of Delano, Minn. earned three points (1g-2a) in his short audition with the K-Wings during the 2016-17 season.

Before turning pro, the 24-year-old appeared in 122 contests over four years with the Michigan Tech Huskies, where he tallied 66 career points (38g-28a). His standout season came as a junior during the 2015-16 campaign, where he earned 27 points (15g-12a) in 32 games and was named to the WCHA Third All-Star Team. As a senior, he was a member of the Huskies’ 2017 WCHA championship team and helped propel his club to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. His off-the-ice efforts were also recognized on a national level during 2015-16, as Heinonen was named as a nominee for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for his contribution to area youths in Houghton.

After finishing his career as the all-time leading scorer in Delano (Minn.) High School history, Heinonen appeared in 115 junior games in the United States Hockey League with Muskegon and Chicago where he notched 81 points (44g-37a) during his career before he moved up to the college ranks.