One of the biggest questions heading into the 2018-19 Bruins season is if Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak will be separated.
The three made up one of the most dominant first lines in the NHL last season, with all three players scoring at least 30 goals. But now with Rick Nash’s future up in the air, and an open spot on the right side of David Krejci, Pastrnak may be moved onto the second line, leaving a spot open with Bergeron and Marchand.
Enter: Danton Heinen.
Boston’s left-shot winger is a solid two-way player, making him versatile and a viable candidate for that top line. And according to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Heinen started skating as a right-winger back in June.
“I’m always working on taking pucks off the walls on the right side, or receiving hard breakout passes on your backhand, making plays with it and getting up ice,” Heinen told Shinzawa. “You’re always working on those things no matter what side you’re on.
“I know I can play in this league now and it’s just a matter of growing on that and making steps every year. There are opportunities and someone’s got to take it, so you work hard and put your best foot forward.”
Heinen previously played with Bergeron and Marchand, and in his second full season with Boston, he knows he will be ready if called upon, noting some changes he’s made from the first time he played with the duo.
“If I get that opportunity, it’ll be good,” he said. “When I played with them in the past, I was gripping the stick too tight and thinking too much. Now, I have a little more confidence and I know I can play here. I’m more comfortable with everyone in the room, not just (Bergeron and Marchand) so that plays a big part of it too.”
Regardless of where Heinen ends up, and who he plays next to, it certainly sounds as if the 23-year-old is ready to make the most of the upcoming season.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images