Heisten back with the Aces as camp roster grows
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Barrett Heisten has agreed to a one-year contract for the 2007-08 season, his third with the team. The Aces also have been assigned forwards Tim Spencer and Tomas Kana, and invited Justin Johnson to camp.
Heisten fought off an assortment of nagging injuries last season to record five two-goal games among his 17 on the year. He also managed 33 assists and finished +14 with 121 minutes in penalties in 60 games played. In the playoffs, he scored in Alaska's series-clinching 5-2 win over Victoria in Game Six of the first round series and assisted on seven other goals while posting a +6 rating in 12 games. The 27-year-old Heisten played on the 2006 Kelly Cup winners and recorded career-highs in goals, assists, points, and PIM that season.
Barrett grew up in Anchorage and attended Dimond High School before enrolling at the University of Maine, where he contributed 12 goals and 16 assists for the 1999 national champions. He was taken in the first round of that year's NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres with the 20th overall pick, eventually landing in the NHL for a 10-game stint with the New York Rangers during the 2001-02 season.
Fellow Anchorage native Johnson will be attending training camp for the second year in a row with the Aces. He began last season with Alaska, appearing in four games before eventually landing in Idaho, where he had an assist in 12 games for the Steelheads during the regular campaign. The 26-year-old Johnson originally joined the Aces for the last four games of the 2005-06 season, when he picked up his first professional point with an assist at Bakersfield in the regular season finale.
Kana, a six-foot, 202-pounder out of the Czech Republic, has been assigned to the Aces by St. Louis, who selected him in the second round with the 31st overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft. He will turn 20 on November 29, and has played in each of the last two seasons in his home country, scoring 14 goals and assisting on 16 others in 86 games.
Spencer, a 21-year-old rookie from Saskatchewan, has been assigned to the Aces by Alaska's AHL affiliate in Peoria. The 6-2, 215-pound banger scored 13 goals and added 24 assists with 290 PIM in two full seasons in the QMJHL.
The Aces will play a pair of pre-season games in Anchorage next Wednesday and Thursday against Texas at 7:15 p.m., benefiting Breast Cancer Awareness and the Alaska chapter of the American Cancer Society. Alaska opens its regular season October 23 in Fresno at 6:05 p.m. AST, while its home opener has been scheduled for Friday, November 2, at 7:15 p.m., against Florida, in the opener of a three-game series pitting last season's conference finalists.
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