Miro Heiskanen: Dallas’ Biggest and Brightest Superstar

Miro Heiskanen: Dallas’ Biggest and Brightest Superstar

by September 2, 2020 0 comments

The National Hockey League is quickly becoming one of the most talented enterprises from a player’s perspective in North America. It’s fast, exciting, and includes a wide-ranging plethora of young, dynamic, and electrifying superstars that can captivate the interest of any fan. From Connor McDavid, Cale Makar, Matt Barzal, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Sebastian Aho, Quinn Hughes, Brayden Point, Seth Jones, Aleksander Barkov, Jack Eichel, and many others, there’s no shortage of talent in the NHL. Well, ladies, and gentlemen, you can add one more to the aforementioned list of buddings NHL studs. His name? Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars. 

When Heiskanen was still available with the third overall pick at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Stars general manager Jim Nill couldn’t believe his eyes. He was flabbergasted that such an immense talent was sitting right before his eyes. With a giant grin on his face, Nill announced the pick and Heiskanen became a Star (no pun intended). Let’s dive in and take a closer look at one of the brightest young defensemen in the NHL and what his future has in store.

Dallas’ Game-Changer

After bursting onto the scene and scoring 33 points as a rookie last season, Heiskanen was well on his way to eclipsing the 40-point plateau in 2019-20. That was until COVID-19 had other plans for the hockey world. In just 68 games as a sophomore this season, Heiskanen scored eight goals, 27 assists, and 35 points to go along with a plus-14 rating and 23:46 of ice time. In addition to his statistical accolades, Heiskanen quickly emerged as not only one of the Stars’ best players, but also one of the best blue-liners in the NHL.

A native of Espoo, Finland, Heiskanen wasted no time in showing the North American game what he was made of. In less than two full seasons, the 6’1, 190-pound blue-liner has changed the fortunes of the Stars organization in ways few could imagine. From the very first moment he first stepped onto the ice, the Stars knew they had one heck of a player.  

After falling short of a berth in last years’ Stanley Cup Final at the hands of the eventual champion, St. Louis Blues, these playoffs have been a revelation for Heiskanen and the Stars. Not surprisingly, Heiskanen is currently tied for second in points with 18 (four goals, 14 assists) along with Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, and first among defensemen in playoff scoring. He also set a new Stars franchise record for most points in a postseason, and it’s still only the second round! The sky really is the limit for the super-Finn.

Confidence, Poise, and Skill

As a player, Heiskanen is the complete package and everything you could ever want in a defenseman and then some. He is an elite two-way player with an extensive toolbox at his disposal who’s just oozing with raw talent. What makes Heiskanen such a force is his silky-smooth skating and his ability to make plays at top speed. He’s athletic, agile, intelligent, and brimming with confidence. What’s even more impressive is that he is just as good without the puck as he is with it on his stick.

While defending, Heiskanen has shown the propensity to play the body and throw his weight around much to the chagrin of Stars head coach Rick Bowness. He is also great at breaking up plays and eliminating passing lanes, along with the ability to read and anticipate the game with exceptional poise and accuracy. In a sport as interchangeable as hockey, Heiskanen makes the game look ever so easy with his excellent decision-making prowess and his super-high hockey-IQ. Heiskanen is also ultra-competitive and loves to win. Whether that comes at the end of a 60-minute war, or in loose puck battles along the boards, you can just see the intensity and “will to win” displayed each and every night amongst the Stars stud blue-liner. If hockey fans didn’t know about Heiskanen before, they sure do now! 

Future Norris Trophy winner? You bet!

Each and every season the NHL awards one lucky individual with the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. If recent history is any indication, I have no doubt that “Hero Miro” is a shoo-in to win this award somewhere down the line. At just 21 years of age, he has completely taken the league by storm, and already emerged as one of the top talents the sport has to offer. When you watch number four in green play, added with his immense skill set, he certainly has all the makings of a future Norris Trophy winner, doesn’t he?

With the Stars one win away from the Western Conference Finals, look for Heiskanen to be a key catalyst during their playoff run inside the NHL bubble in Edmonton, Alberta. You’ve been put on notice, hockey fans!

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