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Danton Heinen Excelling in Latest Opportunity with Boston Bruins

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Coming into this season, Danton Heinen had a lot to prove. The former fourth-round pick had agreed to a two-year extension in the offseason after a disappointing sophomore campaign. Through 17 games, the young winger has rewarded the Bruins faith. Although the season is not even two months old, the Canadian native is fourth on the team in goals and playing with newfound confidence.

When the season began, Heinen saw the majority of his minutes on the third line. The Bruins, however, had to change their plans as Karson Kuhlman only appeared in eight games before suffering a fractured left leg. His injury opened up a spot on the second line where Heinen has slotted in and proved his value.

Through 17 games, Heinen has four goals and three assists. He has been productive on the man advantage and come through in the clutch as two of his goals were game-winners. While his point totals may not jump off the page, Heinen is also showing improvement in many other areas.

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Although Heinen has 88 points so far in his career, his aggressiveness has always held him back. The Bruins winger tends to hang onto the puck and let plays develop rather than putting a shot on net. At times, that trait can be frustrating as some nights he is a coach’s dream with his crafty puck play and ability to create scoring chances.

That has been on display of late as the Bruins second line has been much improved over the past few weeks. After only scoring 11 goals last season, Heinen already has four. He has been more aggressive with the puck as his shooting percentage has risen nearly 12 points from last season. Even when Heinen doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, he has still managed to create scoring chances for his linemates.

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In his brief time on the second line, Heinen has shown a willingness to fight in the dirty areas to win puck battles. It is a welcoming sign for the Bruins as it was an area he needed to improve on, especially if he hopes to stay in the top six.

As the season progresses, Heinen’s play will be a storyline to watch. With DeBrusk currently battling a lower-body injury, Heinen’s performance will be key. The Bruins are at their best when they are getting contributions from all four lines and not relying on their top trio of Bergeron, Pastrnak, and Marchand.

Additionally, the Bruins will need Heinen at his best as after a hot start they have lost three straight. With injuries mounting, this team is looking for answers without some of their key players. If Heinen can continue his recent play, however, he could make life easier for his teammates.

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