Starting to sound like Heikkenen may have the inside track on one of the open slots on defense, the reports on him have all been pretty good:
From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants: (click link for full story)
Training camp invitee Alexei Semenov and Ilkka Heikkinen, a veteran of the SM-liiga in Finland, both will make strong cases to be on the Rangers' opening night roster as sixth/seventh defensemen. And the 24-year-old Heikkinen, at least, would fulfill John Tortorella's desire to have two young prospects/rookies make the team on defense.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Semenov, 28, was the Oilers second-round pick in 1999 and spent the past two seasons with the Sharks. The Rangers extended the invitation Saturday after originally inviting Kyle McLaren, who was unable to attend due to injury. Semenov said a few teams expressed interest in him but he preferred the Rangers because of his prior relationship with Sather.
"I'm a big body, I want to play tough defense and help the team; I have a heavy shot," said Semenov, adding he had no sense one way or the other what his chances of making the team were. "Sometimes, the big stars don't know if they'll be on the roster. I just want to come in in good shape and make the team, like the young kids do."
On Bobby Sanguinetti:
Bobby Sanguinetti really struggled through endurance skate. Looked like he experienced leg cramps but will try to find out for sure.
The smoothest skaters in today’s drills so far: Sam Klassen, Roman Horak, Tomas Kundratek, Sean Avery and Ilkka Heikkinen… There will be two scrimmages Monday