After avoiding a salary arbitration and agreeing to a new two-year contract, Boston Bruins forward Danton Heinen plans to work even harder this offseason to improve his all-around game and more specifically his offensive game.
“Coming into the league, I want to be an offensive guy,’ Heinen told the media on a conference call Thursday afternoon. ” I want to, you know, create more, and I’m going to keep on working at doing that, trying to produce more for the team.”
Heinen, who was selected by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, played in 77 games during his rookie campaign in 2017-18 and recorded 47 points ((16 goals and 31 assists). Heinen appeared to be on an upward trajectory in point production for the Bruins but this past season his production dropped off as he finished with just 34 points (11 goals and 23 assists) playing in the same number of games. That is why Heinen has dedicated much of his off-season training to improving his scoring touch.
“I mean you always definitely want to score more goals,” Heinen told the media. “There’s nothing better than scoring, you know, but I think, yeah, I’ve always worked on my shot in the summertime and continue to work on it, but I think, yeah, that’s definitely something I’ll emphasize, and I’m going to continue to work on.”
Heinen admitted that this past season he passed up opportunities to score as he did not have the confidence in his shooting ability.
“I think I also need to, you know, kind of get in a mindset where I’m shooting more and am more confident in my shot because, you know, different opportunities I might pass up or whatever,” Heinen told the media. “I believe in my shot, and I believe I can score, so yeah, I think it’s just continuing to believing in that and working on it.”
While Heinen’s drop off in production caught the eyes of the fans, his ability to play an all-around game caught the eye of Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. Heinen brings versatility is valuable to the Bruins lineup as he can play a 200-ft game and is always focused on getting the details of the game right. Not only that but Heinen can play in any situation on the ice which is an asset come playoff time.
Heinen does not know what his role will be with the team next season, but he would love to earn a spot in the top 6 forward group for the Bruins after eventually settling in on the third line last season.
“Yeah, I mean, I see myself as an offensive guy,” Heinen told the media. “I think, you know, at the end of the day it’s kind of whatever’s best for the team. You trust the coaching staff and whatever they think is best. Yeah, I see myself as an offensive guy, and I think it’s…kind of take steps in that direction for me. I feel like, like you said, I’m kind of playing all over, but it’s honestly wherever they want me and whatever they need me to do.”