Is Boston Bruins rookie Danton Heinen really this good?

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 18: Danton Heinen
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 18: Danton Heinen /

When the season started, everyone was clamoring about Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork, and Jake DeBrusk as the rookies to watch.  But another Boston Bruins rookie is making a name for himself this season.

When Danton Heinen debuted last season for the Boston Bruins, he only played 8 games and did not record a point.  After his underwhelming first 8 games he was sent down to Providence and hands did not see him again with the big club until the beginning of this season.  The University of Denver product, somewhat got lost in the shuffle with all the young guns making their NHL debuts with the likes of McAvoy, Bjork and DeBrusk overshadowing the 2014 fourth round pick.

But now, Heinen is playing like one of their best forwards and having a great year.  Currently, he has 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists) which ranks 3rd on the team, only behind Marchand and Pastrnak.  His impressive play is coming at a great time as David Krejci is banged up and has missed the past couple games.

Heinen’s line has been a very solid 2nd line with the resurgent David Backes, who is finally healthy this season, and alongside offensive dynamo Riley Nash.  Now the Bruins have two dependable scoring lines to help minimize Krejci’s absence.  If Bjork, DeBrusk and Spooner are on their games and with a physical 4th line, the Bruins have a very good and deep forward core.

But, back to Heinen.  His offensive talent was evident back at Denver as in his two seasons there, he had two 40 point seasons.  Last season in Providence, he had another strong season 14 goals and 30 assists for a total of 44 points in the AHL.  He averages just under 16 minutes a game which ranks 6th in terms on forwards, 11th on the whole team.  Along with an increase in 5 on 5 ice time, Heinen also plays on both specialty units and has improved all facets of his game.

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Every fan entering the year, knew the Bruins needed some kids to step up.  Everyone had heard of McAvoy and his game and DeBrusk was a 1st round pick and Anders Bjork was a college standout at Notre Dame, but people maybe skipped over Danton Heinen.  His “first” season was an uneventful blip on the radar, but now he is earning high end minutes and only being 22, Heinen could be an extremely useful player for the very bright Bruins future.