Photo credit: DU Athletics
It’s official. Denver head coach Jim Montgomery announced that Danton Heinen’s days with the University of Denver are over. After a great run to the Frozen Four ending with a heartbreaking loss to North Dakota, Heinen has decided to forego his final two years of NCAA eligibility to sign a 3 year, entry level contract with the Boston Bruins.
Heinen, the Bruins’ 4th round pick in the 2014 NHL draft, led the Pioneers in scoring in both of his years at Denver. After a slow start to 2015, Heinen turned it on in the second half and ended up tallying 20 goals and 28 assists for 48 points.
“We’re very excited for Danton to be signing with Boston,” Montgomery said in DU’s press release. ” it’s a great achievement and everyone in our program celebrates the accomplishment with him.”
Heinen was named the NCHC Forward of the Year and ASN Player of the Year this season after being named the NCHC Freshman of the Year last season. He was also named to the NCAA All-Tournament team after tallying 1 goal and 5 assists in the two-game regional against Boston University and Ferris State.
Heinen will join the Bruins’ AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, on an Amateur tryout agreement. It is likely that he will be given the opportunity to play on the Bruins’ NHL roster next season.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have coached Danton these last two seasons and we wish him nothing but the best as he enters the next stage of what will undoubtedly be a highly-successful career,” Montgomery said. “We’re looking forward to watching him skate alongside the best players in the world in the near future.”
With Heinen’s departure, the Pioneers will look to replace his high level of production over the past two years. Aside from his two linemates on the Pacific Rim Line, Trevor Moore and Dylan Gambrell, a name that will certainly draw attention is incoming freshman, Henrik Borgström from Finland. Borgström has averaged more than a point per game throughout his career in Finnish hockey.
Heinen’s decision to leave will leave undoubtedly Denver in a difficult spot, but the 2016-17 team is still seen as a serious national title contender.