The Bruins have officially reeled in one of their top three restricted free agents this summer.
The club announced Tuesday night that it has signed forward Danton Heinen to a two-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season, with an annual cap hit of $2.8 million.
Tuesday’s news avoided a potentially messy situation for both player and team next month, as the NHLPA announced on Friday that Heinen elected for salary arbitration — with a hearing set for Aug. 3. While Heinen opted for the move, both parties could still continue negotiations ahead of any arbitration hearing, leading to Tuesday’s eventual announcement.
Heinen, who made $995,833 in the final year of his entry-level contract in 2018-19, set himself up for a solid pay raise after capping off his second full season up in the NHL. While his production dropped from a 2017-18 campaign in which he ranked ninth amongst all NHL rookies with 47 points, the winger was still a regular contributor all across the lineup this past year, ranking seventh on the team with 34 points over 77 games.
While he struggled to gain traction on what was largely a black hole of a third line for most of the year, Heinen did impress when slotted up on a top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, with Boston outscoring the competition, 11-4, and posting a plus-20 shot differential during the 197:31 of 5v5 TOI in which that trio was out skating.
On a forward grouping that hit its stride in the postseason with Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, Heinen and his linemates outscored the competition, 7-4, in 134:01 of ice time together during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.