SURREY — A former Surrey Eagle will suit up with the Boston Bruins tonight (Thursday) in his debut NHL game.
Danton Heinen will play right wing against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he’ll become the first product of the Bauer BCHL Showcase to make his debut in the NHL.
Heinen, a 21-year-old native of Langley, will be on the Bruins second line with David Krejci centering Ryan Spooner and himself.
The second-line job opened up as David Backes was elevated to first-line center because Patrice Bergeron is out with injury.
“I’m super excited,” Heinen told NHL.com. “It’ something you’ve been dreaming my whole life to be playing in an NHL game. There’s two great players I’m playing with; just get them the puck and play hard.”
During his 2013-14 season, his lone campaign in the BCHL, Heinen would be the Surrey Eagles leading scorer with 29 goals and 33 assists for 62 points in 57 games playing for head coach Peter Schaefer. He took over the team’s captaincy duties after the January roster deadline saw Brett Mulcahy moved to the Vernon Vipers.
Heinen was named to the BCHL all-rookie team and took home the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy as BCHL rookie of the year.
Heinen was never listed by NHL Central Scouting during the 2013-14 season before being selected by the Bruins in the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft.
Later, he led the University of Denver in scoring as a freshman in 2014-15 and was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) rookie of the year. He signed with the Bruins in April after again leading the Pioneers in scoring as a sophomore.