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Danton Heinen Nominated For Masterton Trophy



Boston Bruins

The Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association (PHWA) has nominated winger Danton Heinen as the Boston Bruins 2024 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee.

The Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

Danton Heinen went almost the whole offseason before eventually signing an amateur tryout with the Boston Bruins on Sept. 5. Heinen had a terrific training camp and preseason, but thanks to the Bruins’ salary cap constraints entering the 2023-24 regular season, the team was unable to officially sign Heinen until Oct. 30 and eight games into the season. Since then, Heinen has become a useful, versatile two-way forward for his former head coach at the University of Denver and current Boston Bruins head coach, Jim Montgomery.

“I think it’s deserved,” Montgomery said of the Masterton nomination after practice on Friday. “He had to fight through a lot. When you go through a whole summer not knowing if you’re going to have a contract or not, if you’re going to play again in the NHL, it’s a lot of uncertainty you have to deal with mentally. The perseverance mentally he had to come in here with, have a real good camp and stay here because of his commitment to wanting to be a Boston Bruin again and then getting the opportunity and flourishing in any role. He started on the fourth line, and I think he went to the third line. We introduced him to the penalty kill. He didn’t penalty kill when he was here before. He’s done everything we could ask of him.”

One could easily argue that Heinen has done more than he’s been asked to do by the Bruins, as he now finds himself playing as the two-way, high forward on the Bruins’ high-octane second line with Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak. Heinen had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night and now has 16 goals and 18 assists in 69 games this season.

Heinen was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (116th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound winger played eight games for the Bruins as a late-season call-up for the team at the end of the 2016-17 season. From there, he went on to play 212 games with the Bruins for just under three seasons before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks for winger Nick Ritchie at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.

Heinen’s best season with the Bruins was his rookie campaign in 2017-18, when he scored 16 goals and 31 assists in 77 games. Heinen followed that up with 11 goals and 23 assists the following season and then seven goals and 15 assists in 58 games during the 2019-20 season before being traded to the Ducks.

Danton Heinen had three goals and an assist in his first nine games with the Ducks after the trade. He then had seven goals and seven assists in 43 games during the 56-game shortened 2021 season, his last with the Ducks before signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2021 offseason. Heinen scored 18 goals to go with 15 assists in 76 games for the Penguins in the 2021-22 season and then eight goals and 14 assists in 65 games last season.

Heinen now has 86 goals and 124 assists for 210 points in 482 career NHL games.

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