Boston Bruins: Danton Heinen a surprising star for the black and gold

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Danton Heinen
ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Danton Heinen /

Danton Heinen is performing well in his first full season with the Boston Bruins.

Danton Heinen wasn’t even on the Boston Bruins opening day roster. On Oct. 2 the team announced Heinen was being sent down to the Providence Bruins. Then just eight days later Heinen was back in Boston. Injuries were piling up so the Bruins needed any player with some experience that they had.

Heinen played in just eight games last season. It wasn’t pretty. He couldn’t even muster up a point and finished at -3.

This season has definitely been a pleasant surprise for Heinen and the Bruins.

Heinen is one of the team’s top scorers. So far he has 4 goals and 9 assists on the season. His +1 is in the top 5 of the team with players who have played similar amounts of games.

Heinen’s coming out party was against the San Jose Sharks when he scored the only goals on the night. He propelled Boston to a 2-1 victory.

Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has seen the 22-year-old’s game improve.

"“Danton has really grown his game, to be able to play with different flavors, or attributes, of different forwards. That’s a credit to him.”"

Heinen himself has also seen how his game has evolved.

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"“Last year, I know was looking for [linemates] too much — thinking too much, really. I’ve kind of learned that even when you’re playing with great players, you shouldn’t try to make plays to force the puck to them. You should just make plays that are in front of you. That’s something I’ve really focused on — trying to be more assertive, trying to show I’m more confident.”"

Heinen has become an important part of this team. When he scores a point the Bruins are 7-3-1. With injuries, Heinen was playing on the team’s top lines. Heinen wasn’t struggling either when facing the top players on the opposing team. With players such as Brad Marchand and David Krejci returning from injury Heinen is now back on the team’s lower lines.

It doesn’t appear that Heinen is slowing down as he was able to score his first point with his new linemates versus the Predators.

Heinen has shown that besides scoring goals he can be strong with the puck. He was known early on for his flashiness but after stints in the AHL last season he was able to work on his physicality, something that is important playing on the bottom two lines.

Next: Boston Bruins Breakdown: Rask records shutout in the seasons best game

The Bruins used to have Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, and Gregory Campbell being the face of the teams bottom two lines. Now that honor is being given to Heinen.