It hasn’t been the easiest road to the NHL for Danton Heinen, but he’s ready to prove he belongs in the top-six.
The Bruins winger began the 2017-18 season in Providence (AHL), but after being recalled to Boston, he remained with the team and became an important piece of the third line alongside Riley Nash and David Backes. Heinen tallied 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) through 77 games.
The 23-year-old now is looking to make an even bigger impact for the B’s. With a vacant spot open on David Krejci’s right side, Heinen is hopeful to be a top-six winger for the Black and Gold during the upcoming campaign.
“For sure, I want to be a top-six guy in the league and I worked this summer toward that,” Heinen told The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. “I’m just going to keep pushing and learning from guys. That’s all you can do.”
While Ryan Donato and Anders Bjork both are viable candidates to play alongside Krejci in the upcoming season, it’s worth noting Heinen has played right wing on the second line during the first two days of training camp.
And while Heinen really had just one hiccup during his rookie season when he faced a a month-long stretch without an assist, the young winger is remaining focused on the season ahead.
“For me, I think I let it get to me mentally rather than just think about the next play. It was a year where I was trying to stick around and earn my keep,” Heinin said. “But you shouldn’t be thinking too much about that. You should just bury your head and work hard and focus on the little things instead of worrying about the big things.”
The Bruins open their season Oct. 3 against the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, and if Heinen keeps his focus and continues to improve and learn from his mistakes, a top-six spot just might be in his future.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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