Jake Heisinger sits at his desk at the Kootenay Ice office during the summer of 2017.

Kootenay Ice extend Heisinger contract, bolster scouting department

Director of scouting and hockey operations signs five-year extension, make hire to scouting team

The Kootenay Ice announced several front office moves on Monday that the organization believes should have a considerable impact on their future.

Jake Heisinger, the team’s director of scouting and hockey operations signed a five-year contract extension with the Ice, while Taras McEwen, manager of scouting and hockey operations, signed a three-year extension.

The team also added Tyler MacDonald as a member of their scouting staff, who is rejoining the organization after having previously spent six seasons as a Manitoba regional scout with the Ice from 2009-2014.

According to general manager Matt Cockell, keeping Heisinger on board long-term was a positive move.

“Jake shares the same philosophy as the rest of our organization [of] progressive thinking [and] hard work combined with passion for our players and community,” said Cockell said in a team release. “Evaluating Jake’s approach to this year’s draft, player evaluation and management style made this an easy decision for the Ice.

“Heisinger is a very talented young hockey mind and has a very bright future ahead.”

Originally hired by the Ice in May 2017 under the title Manager of Hockey Operations and Player Experience, the 26-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba spent a large portion of his first year in a scouting role and led the ICE scouting staff at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft in Red Deer.

In his role as scouting director, Heisinger oversees the scouting team and the evaluation of players for the WHL Bantam Draft. He also works closely with the prospects in the system regarding player development.

Heisinger joined the organization after graduating from Curry College in Boston, where he played four seasons of NCAA Division III hockey and earned a degree in business with a minor in communications.

Taras McEwen, who also joined the organization in 2017, is now committed to the Ice for the next three seasons after spending time within the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as the hockey operations assistant and assistant coach with the Notre Dame Hounds.

“Taras is a hard worker and a bright hockey mind,” Heisinger explained. “[He] is a key contributor in the WHL Bantam Draft process and is committed to the type of player we want to draft for our organization.”

On Tyler MacDonald, Heisinger was also very keen to bring him into the fold.

“Tyler will add another voice to our scouting staff to assist with evaluating bantam-aged players,” said Heisinger. “Tyler has spent some time scouting in the past and we are excited to add him to our team.”

The Kootenay Ice selected nine players at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, including top prospect Carson Lambos, who the team took with the second overall pick.

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