Bruins Trade Heinen to Ducks for Ritchie

The Boston Bruins have traded forward Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Nick Ritchie, according to Elliotte Friedman.

This is the second trade that the Ducks and Bruins have made with each other ahead of the Trade Deadline as the Bruins acquired Ondrej Kase from the Ducks on Feb. 21. In that deal, the Ducks acquired David Backes, Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round pick.

Heinen Could Shine With Change of Scenery

Heinen was drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round in 2014 and has been one of the more underrated forwards in Boston despite the points not necessarily reflecting that.

In his rookie year, Heinen would score 16 goals and 47 points and played an essential role on the Bruins. With injuries hitting the Bruins hard in recent years, however, consistency has been hard to come by as far as lineup configuration and Heinen has been an unfortunate victim of that phenomenon.

Danton Heinen Boston Bruins
Danton Heinen, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He’d score 11 goals and 34 points in 77 games last season and in 58 games this season, Heinen has scored seven goals and 22 points.

Outside of the offensive output taking a step back in each of the last two seasons, Heinen has been one of the more effective two-way forward on the Bruins, playing a very strong defensive game that has gone widely unnoticed.

Related: 2020 NHL Trade Deadline: Deal Tracker

Unfortunately, Heinen has seemingly been on the outside looking in with head coach Bruce Cassidy making him a healthy scratch recently to send a message.

The 24-year-old Heinen is signed to a team-friendly $2.8 million cap hit through the 2020-21 season and will look to be a versatile winger for the Ducks as they look to rebuild their roster from the ground up.

Ritchie Adds Physical Element to Bruins Lineup

Ritchie certainly plays the style of hockey that the Bruins like as he’s a big, physical winger who can provide depth scoring and play heavily along the boards.

The 10th overall pick from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Ritchie has scored eight goals and 19 points in 41 games this season. He’d score nine goals and 21 points in 60 games last season and has yet to really become that top-six winger the Ducks were hoping he’d be when they took him so high in the Draft.

At 6 foot 2 and 230 pounds and expected to play in a role outside of the Bruins top-six, however, it’s possible Ritchie could fit better with a change of scenery in Boston.

Nick Ritchie Ducks
Nick Ritchie, Anaheim Ducks, Oct. 24, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s also notable that the Bruins have Ritchie’s brother Brett under contract for the 2019-20 season as well, though he’s found himself playing in the AHL this year after losing his spot in the NHL lineup earlier this season.

While Heinen carried a team-friendly contract, Nick Ritchie’s deal is actually cheaper and carries a $1.498 million cap hit through the 2020-21 season. This deal saves the Bruins money as they nearly halved Heinen’s value.

Only time will tell if this proves to be a good move for the Bruins. For the Ducks, though, moving on from Ritchie and starting fresh with another winger struggling to find his offensive game may not be the worst decision as this team has little to lose right now and everything to gain in the future.