Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Emil Heineman.
Forward Emil Heineman dominated the Swedish junior leagues this past season. He put up 26 goals and 15 assists for 41 points in just 29 games in the Under-20 SuperElit. He had the most goals and points of any player in the Under-20 North of the SuperElit. This earned him a call-up to Leksands IF in the SHL. Heineman put up just two assists in 11 games but was only seeing limited ice time as he adjusts to Sweden’s top men’s league. He also played four games for the Swedish Under-19 National team, putting up two goals and three assists for five points.
It was a big improvement over 2018-19 when Heineman had just one goal and four assists for five points in 27 games in the SuperElit. He also put up four goals and two assists for six points in six games, as well as one goal and two points in two playoff games in the J18 league. Heinemann comes from good bloodlines. He is the youngest of four brothers who have all played professional hockey in Sweden.
Emil Heineman Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 16th, 2001 — Leksand, Sweden
Height 6’1″ — Weight 185 lbs [185 cm / 84 kg]
Heineman is a very good skater, though there are still areas that he can get even better. His speed is excellent. He reaches that speed quickly with very good acceleration and a quick first step. Heineman can get behind the defence and create breakaways. He can also get in quickly on the forecheck. Heineman can beat his man wide and cut to the net. His agility and edgework can use some work though. Heineman makes wide turns. He can also lose some speed when changing directions. Heineman has decent lower body strength and can fight through checks to get to the front of the net. He also wins battles on the boards and in front of the net. Heineman will need to get stronger to play this style on North American ice as well as to succeed against men.
As seen in his numbers this season, Heineman has become quite the sniper. He has an accurate and strong wrist shot and it features a quick release. Heineman can create his own shot with his skating, forcing defenders to respect his speed and using them as a screen before firing it on the net. He also finds openings in the defence to take a pass from a teammate and get a shot on net. Heineman can finish in tight to the net as he can elevate the puck on both his forehand and backhand. He gets to the front of the net where he can pounce on a rebound or get a deflection from a teammate.
Heineman controls the puck down low and uses his body well to protect the puck. He makes short passes to keep the cycle game going and then gets open for a return pass. He can also work on the boards and win battles for loose pucks. Heineman is also good on the forecheck, pressuring defenders and forcing them into mistakes. These types of plays create the majority of his assists, as he is not really a creative passer. There are also some questions about his vision to find passing lanes through these areas.
Heineman is willing to work along the boards and grind in the defensive zone as well. He supports the defence against the cycle game. He also does a good job of bringing backpressure against the transition game. Heineman uses his stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He reads the play well and is in good positions to intercept passes and transition to offence. Heineman is able to play on the penalty kill and is a threat to create offence short-handed.
Projection and Comparison
Heineman is a late 2001 birthday. The concern is that he has never really dominated his peers before this past season. Teams need to ask if he is just an advanced 18 and 19-year-old playing in the Swedish Junior League when many of his elite-level peers are now playing against men or has he really turned the corner and bloomed as a prospect. That said, even if his offence is a bit of an aberration, his skating ability, size and defensive game mean that he still has a chance to make the NHL in a bottom-six role. For that reason, he is worth a gamble. Heineman’s game is reminiscent of Carl Hagelin but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Emil Heineman that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Emil Heineman Main Photo:
SWEDEN: Emil Heineman, LW, (2020) – Explosive season w/ 26 goals in 29 games for Leksands U20 grabs attention in your #NHLDraft year – Is it sustainable at a higher level? – @jimmyhamrin answers in a detailed report – high floor makes a viable 2nd rd. pick https://t.co/7jADoPJEE1 pic.twitter.com/Iv229i5rVu
— McKeen’s Hockey (@mckeenshockey) April 15, 2020