Topic: Christopher Higgins

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Christopher Higgins (born June 2, 1983) is an American professional ice hockey winger with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). While playing college hockey, he was selected 14th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He finished a two-year career with the Yale Bulldogs, earning ECAC Hockey Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, before turning professional for the 2003–04 season. After two seasons with the Canadiens' minor league affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL), he joined the NHL in 2005–06. He recorded three consecutive 20-goal seasons to begin his NHL career before being traded to the New York Rangers in June 2009. After brief stints with the Rangers, Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers, he joined the Canucks in February 2011. Internationally, Higgins has competed for the United States in two World Junior Championships (2002 and 2003) and one World Championship (2009).

Higgins played high school hockey for two seasons while attending Avon Old Farms, a preparatory school in Avon, Connecticut. Opting to play in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), he accepted an athletic scholarship with the Yale Bulldogs. Higgins also considered offers from Boston College and Harvard University. In 2001–02, Higgins began a two-year stint with the Yale Bulldogs of the ECAC Hockey Conference. After recording a team-leading 31 points (14 goals and 17 assists) over 27 games as a freshman, he was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year. He additionally received ECAC All-Rookie and Second All-Star Team honors.

In the off-season, Higgins was selected 14th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He became the first ECAC Hockey player to be selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft since Normand Lacombe in 1983 (the Buffalo Sabres selected him 10th overall). Returning to Yale for one more season, he improved to 41 points over 28 games, leading Yale in scoring for the second consecutive year. Higgins earned ECAC Player of the Year (co-recipient with Cornell Big Red goaltender David LeNeveu) and First All-Star Team honors; he was also recognized regionally on the NCAA East All-American Team.

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