Since turning pro in 1997-98, centre Matt Higgins has been a part-time player for the Montreal Canadiens. A fine scorer in junior, his role in the pros has been more defensive.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Higgins starred with the Vernon Lakers of the BCAHA in 1992-93. He then moved on to the Moose Jaws Warriors of the WHL for four years and was selected 18th overall by the Habs in 1996. After topping the 30-goal mark three straight years in Moose Jaw, Higgins spent most of his first pro season with the AHL's Fredericton Canadiens.
The young pivot played 25 games in each of the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons as the Habs experienced injury woes. Higgins played most of the 2000-01 season with the Quebec Citadelles of the AHL and found himself at a crossroads in terms of his NHL aspirations.