Justin Hickman


Lethbridge Alberta

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:








Signed as free agent, 2015


215 LBS. lbs.

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2010-11: Justin Hickman skated in 46 regular season games for the Seattle Thunderbirds in his first WHL season. He had 2 assists and was -20 with 51 penalty minutes. Seattle missed the playoffs, finishing last in the U.S. Division.

2011-12: Hickman played in 71 of 72 regular season games for Seattle in his second WHL season. He scored 12 goals with 10 assists and was -19 with 106 penalty minutes. The Thunderbirds finished last in the U.S. Division under first-year coach Steve Knowalchuk, missing the playoffs for the third straight season. 

2012-13: Hickman returned to Seattle of his third WHL season. He scored 12 goals with 22 penalty minutes and was -23 with 115 penalty minutes in 70 regular season games. Seattle made the playoffs despite winning just 24 games in regulation, finishing fourth in the U.S. Division thanks to seven shootout wins. Hickman had 1 assist and was +1 with 11 penalty minutes in six playoff games. 

2013-14: Hickman made his pro hockey debut in April 2014 following the WHL season after signing an amateur tryout contract with Islanders’ AHL affiliate Bridgeport. In five games with the Sound Tigers he scored 1 goal and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes. Hickman scored 22 goals with 22 assists and was +7 with a team-leading 154 penalty minutes in 67 regular season games for Seattle in his fourth WHL season. The Thunderbirds were one of the league’s big turnaround stories, finishing second to Portland in the U.S. Division and reaching the second round in the playoffs. Hickman scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had an even plus/minus with 12 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He attended the Winnipeg Jets development camp in July 2014 but did not receive a contract offer. 

2014-15: Hickman skated in 31 games for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January 2015. He scored 9 goals with 19 assists and was +3 with 40 penalty minutes before his season ended. Hickman signed a three-year entry-level contract with Boston in March 2015.

Talent Analysis

Hickman is a power forward in the truest sense of the term—using his size and strength to create scoring chances and willing to fight for his teammates or to change the momentum of a game when necessary. He has scored goals during his junior career by going into the tougher areas but it will be his willingness to throw the body that determines his upside at the pro level.


Hickman is with Boston AHL affiliate Providence in 2015-16. Playing pro hockey as a 20-year-old, he has seen limited ice time in his first season. Hickman's offensive upside appears limited though he has scored at times by driving to the net and using his size to create space. Long-term he projects as a lower line power forward capable of wreaking havoc with his hitting and fighting when necessary.

2012-13 WHL Western Conference season preview

by Glen Erickson

Ty Rattie - Portland Winterhawks

Photo: 2012 WHL playoff scoring leader Ty Rattie and his Portland Winterhawks teammates hope the third time is the charm in 2012-13 as the team looks to erase the memory of two consecutive WHL championship losses (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 Here’s a look at the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference heading into the 2012-13 season. Of course, the National Hockey League labor strife will impact rosters during the early going. And, the deadline for WHL teams to announce their three 20-year-old's comes along in mid-October.

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