After the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Jared McCann to the Toronto Maple Leafs for fear of losing him for nothing in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, the Penguins did lose winger Brandon Tanev. The Penguins and GM Ron Hextall signed the Tanev replacement, Brock McGinn, on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the team took a flier on LW scorer Danton Heinen.
The deal is one year for $1.1 million, so it’s short-term and economical as Heinen is too fresh from a pair of down seasons with the Anaheim Ducks.
Heinen appeared on the PHN watch list of affordable UFAs on Wednesday morning. Last season he scored 14 points, including seven goals in 43 games. He had only 26 points in 67 games split between the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks the season before that.
Heinen is a finese winger. He’s 6-foot-1, 188 pounds, and delivered only 32 hits last season. However, physical isn’t in his job description. Heining has soft hands and an ability to finish.
His best season was his rookie year, 2017-18. He scored 47 points with 16 goals in 77 games. He dipped to 34 points in his second season, and Boston traded him to traded Anaheim to near the NHL trade deadline in 2019.
In 272 career games, Heinen has 44 goals, 77 assists, 121 points, and is plus-9.
In 19 playoff games, Heinen has three goals, six assists, nine points, and is plus-6 in 33 games. He dressed for all seven of the Bruins Stanley Cup Final games in 2019, registering one assist.
Heinen, 26, can play center but is a LW. Guessing the Pittsburgh Penguins lines in fall will include putting Heinen on the third-line LW. We don’t yet know if Jeff Carter will be the second or third-line center. That decision will depend on Evgeni Malkin and his surgically repaired knee.
Heinen is the third UFA the Penguins signed to a one-way deal since the free agency period officially began at noon on Wednesday. The Penguins also re-signed Evan Rodrigues on Wednesday to a one-year deal. They brought back Dominik Simon on a two-way, one-year deal, and inked McGinn to a four-year contract.
Journeyman defenseman Taylor Fedun also signed a two-way deal on Wednesday, as did Michael Chaput on Thursday.