(Above Photo Credit: NHL.com)
By: Lauren Campbell Follow Me On Twitter @lalalalaurrrren
If you have been following the Bruins for the last month-and-a-half, then I don’t need to tell you they’re playing outstanding hockey. Things seem to be clicking on all cylinders for the B’s – from the offense to the defense to the goaltending and it’s clear this team is undeniably fun to watch.
With all the talent Boston has, there is one specific player who I feel has been overlooked. With a team with talents such as Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy is a talented young player named Danton Heinen.
Also, Danton Heinen wasn’t even on the list for the NHL’s Central Scouting final rankings in the 2014 NHL Draft. For those that recall, the Bruins faced a lot of criticism at the time for selecting an “unranked” player in the 4th-round. #NHLBruins
— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) January 9, 2018
He was drafted by the Bruins after he played just two years at the University of Denver where he collected 93 points in 81 games with the Pioneers. The B’s saw something special in Heinen, and even though it looked as if he was not ready for the NHL level last year, he has proven to be a solid draft pick.
Through the 39 games he has played, Heinen has 10 goals and 21 helpers – good for 31 points. On Jan. 3, the winger had notched 21 points through 22 games, with a plus/minus of 10 and had a two-point game against the New York Islanders where the B’s won 5-1.
Those 31 points put the 22-year-old in fourth for rookie scoring, and the three players above him have played between four and seven more games than him. Heinen is making an impact on the B’s and has been without a doubt exceeding expectations on the ice.
Essentially, Heinen came out of nowhere and has been producing numbers to help the Bruins be in the position they are. They’re second in the Atlantic Division, and without the help of his 31 points, the B’s may not be anywhere close to second.
However, it’s not surprising you don’t hear a lot of talk about the young stud – this team is loaded with talent and has been winning big games, including two wins against their rival Montreal Canadiens.
Tuukka Rask (21 saves) improved to 13-0-2 in his last 15 decisions dating to Nov. 29, besting Andrei Vasilevskiy (13-0-1 from Oct. 9 – Nov. 16) for the longest such run by a goaltender this season. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/LraXRadEIm
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 18, 2018
Tuukka Rask has been absolutely dominant between the pipes since December, Marchand was named to the All-Star team, Pastrnak has 18 goals, and McAvoy is dropping gloves and scoring goals. It’s easy to see why Heinen gets lost in conversation.
What makes his rookie season even more impressive is that Heinen played just eight games last year and didn’t record a single point. He was incredibly underwhelming, and after some work in the offseason, he has become someone the B’s can rely on while he’s on the ice.
Heinen has become a key contributor to this team whether he is talked about or not – which I think makes him all the more special. He’s apparently not letting the success he’s had this season get to his head – he’s just quietly climbing to the top of the rookie scorers list.
DANTON HEINEN SNIPES ONE HOME, BRUINS LEAD 1-0! pic.twitter.com/cibY441yCs
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) January 3, 2018