Bruins Cassidy Reflects On Trades Of Danton Heinen, Other Young Bruins Forwards

The Bruins have traded some young forwards in recent years


Nov 9, 2021

Though they weren’t always in blockbuster deals, a number of young forwards brought up through the Boston Bruins system have been pieces in trades during recent seasons.

Ryan Spooner went to the New York Rangers in the Rick Nash trade. Danton Heinen was part of a 1-for-1 deal that brought Nick Ritchie to Boston. Ryan Donato landed the Bruins Charlie Coyle, and, more recently, Anders Bjork was part of the Taylor Hall-Curtis Lazar trade package.

All of those players were used in trades for myriad reasons. In answering a question about Jack Studnicka on Tuesday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy thought back on some of those deals.

“When I was here at first, it was (Jake) DeBrusk and Bjork we brought in,” Cassidy told reporters. “Jake’s had his highs and lows, Bjork we just felt there was probably a ceiling. And who knows, right? He gets dealt for Hall, so for us that’s an asset. Donato, I thought, had some offensive moments that were good. He was learning the other side of the game like a lot of wingers. He moves for Coyle, so that’s a hockey move, it made us better. Heinen, I thought, thrived here, but we looked for more heaviness with Ritchie.”

Studnicka is a natural center, but will be used on the wing when the Bruins face the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. He represents a unique situation, as he seems to be NHL ready, but his play historically has been better at his natural center than on the wing — a situation Spooner oftentimes found himself in.

That’s not necessarily a good or a bad thing, rather just part of the process.

“Studnicka, I think right now, is a natural centerman. … He hasn’t truly played his position yet,” Cassidy said. “We’re a little more veteran-oriented (at center). I think the jury’s still out on Jack. I wouldn’t say he’s a defined NHL player or not. He’s still finding his way.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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