Chiasson was quickly released from his PTO after playing in just one preseason game, but at the end of the preseason, the Bruins had not made any sort of determination about Heinen. To this day, they still have not made a decision.
According to Conor Ryan of Boston.com, as of October 10, he was unsigned and had not worked out a contract even this far into the season.
So why is Heinen still sticking around if he hasn’t been signed to a contract yet?
Theory #1 – They’re waiting the nine games on Poitras
This theory hurts me personally, as I have been very impressed in what I have seen out of Matthew Poitras so far both in the preseason and the regular season; however, it is the theory that makes the most sense.
Much like Heinen, Poitras is not on an official contract has the first nine games of the season, which ironically makes up the first month of the season, and Boston has until then to make up their mind if they want to sign him to a contract or wait until next year. As I have previously written, he definitely deserves to stay.
Given his age (19-years-old), it wouldn’t hurt to have him spend another year in the Ontario Hockey League so he can develop his skills more, but the downside to that is it slows down his play significantly – especially going from NHL games to OHL games.
Theory #2 – They’re waiting to see if Lauko looks the same as last year
This is one theory that I feel like no one is talking about. The narrative has mostly been surrounding Poitras given his “tryout” status with the Bruins, but what a lot of stories seem to be forgetting is two major things: 1. Heinen plays on the wing, and 2. He’s a left-handed shot. Both of which play into looking at Jakub Lauko.
Last season, Lauko played 23 games at the NHL level, scoring four goals and racking up three assists in the process. On top of that he also tallied a +3 plus-minus rating. He’s played in both games so far this year, but has yet to crack the scoreboard.
Lauko, being in his second NHL season, is most likely under the microscope of Boston general manager, Don Sweeney. He is probably especially under a microscope consider how similar he is to Heinen. Both play on the wing, both are left-handed shots, and both would play on a lower-level wing. Watch Lauko’s production (or lack thereof), and see if that impacts Heinen’s status sometime soon.
Theory #3 – They want to see what John Beecher has to offer
So far we’ve gone through Poitras and Lauko, but you can’t forget about the other rookie on the roster and how he may play into all of this: John Beecher. Much like the aforementioned Poitras, he only has two NHL games to his name.
He has yet to also record a point in his career. The difference between the two, however, is that Beecher has AHL options, whereas Poitras does not. This leads me to my theory about how the contract could work.
What the Bruins could do is they could keep Beecher with the team AND sign Heinen to a two-way contract. That way Heinen could be on the team, but if Beecher shows some promise in the AHL and needs to be brought back up they can be interchanged. This is more than likely the solution with Lauko, but it definitely could work here as well.