Providence Bruins Heinen’s AHL Playoff Success


( Above Photo Credit:  Scott Martin Photography )

By Mark Allred             Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

When the Boston Bruins took a chance on prospect forward Danton Heinen after he voluntarily left the University of Denver, I thought in my “unprofessional” opinion it was a bit too soon after only completing his Sophomore year and believed he and the Bruins organization would benefit greatly with more time in the NCAA ranks. Signing a three-year entry-level contract back in April of 2016, the young prospect had a solid development camp and rookie camp which caught the eyes of Bruins management to proceed with a decent training camp/preseason to give the talented forward his first start in the National Hockey League. He produced zero points in his first eight NHL games and was sent down to continue his development with the top minor-pro affiliate Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.


The 21-year-old Langley, British Columbia Canada native took the demotion well and worked hard to get second looks from the higher club, but after posting eleven points in his first ten games (7-4-11), he struggled to stay consistent in the remaining 54 regular season games gathering only 33 points (7-26-33). As a fan that watches every Providence game, he was working extremely hard but couldn’t catch any luck offensively. He has solid attribute to his game and was a big help to his linemates in his first year of professional hockey but the postseason is a different story as the legend goes, and hiss game has changed dramatically to be one of the better stories coming out of the 2017 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.

The 2014 fourth round selection of the B’s played aa heavy style game with urgency to get to the net and make things happen kind of game that wasn’t really seen in the regular season in my opinion, but this change for the better has certainly been the catalyst for a team that was not in favor of winning the best-of-five first round playoff series against the heavily favored and regular season champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In five games against the Penguins, he posted 4-2-6 numbers while the B’s won the series 3-2 and now look to move to the second round which starts tonight in Hershey, Pennsylvania against the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center


In these playoffs, this is the exact game I’ve wanted to see this young talent play all year but as many know prospects like this are a coin flip and remain to be seen. I see big things for this kid and hope with a little more body mass and strong offseason on/off ice sessions, he could seriously challenge once again for an NHL roster next season and if not he’ll certainly be a key part to the depth of the organization under entry-level status. This is all going to depend on the offseason moves General Manager Don Sweeney want to make to build a team structured for the second round and possibly beyond in next year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs if they indeed make it.



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