(Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS)

By Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis

Danton Heinen has been a bright spot for the Boston Bruins this season, and now he has the potential to add some hardware to his trophy case. Heinen has been announced as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

Heinen came into training camp for the 2023-24 season without a contract following an uninspired season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite the uncertainty surrounding his playing situation, Heinen battled established veterans, promising rookies, and other desperate skaters for a roster spot, earning his way onto the Boston Bruins based on his hard work and determination.

Even though the 28-year-old was able to fight his way onto the roster, the team couldn’t officially sign him until October 30th due to salary cap restrictions. Since joining the Bruins, Heinen has been a Swiss army knife for head coach Jim Montgomery, spending time on all four lines and contributing to both the penalty kill and power play. In his second stint with the Boston Bruins, Heinen is seventh on the team in goals (16) and 10th on the team in points (34).

The Bruins have had five skaters win the award before, including Charlie Simmer (1985-86), Gord Kluzak (1989-90), current team President Cam Neely (1993-94), and most recently Phil Kessel (2006-07). The recipient of the award will be announced during the 2024 NHL Awards Show.