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Originally from Whitestone, New York, Higgins was an All-American at Yale University. In 2002 NHL Entry Draft he was selected 14th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. Scored his first career goal on October 6, 2005 against the New York Rangers and in front of friends and family attending the game at Madison Square Gardens. In April of 2006, he became the latest Habs rookie to score 20 or more goals in a season. Prior to the start of the 2007-08 season, Higgins was named alternate Captain for the Montreal Canadiens.