• Alex Taxman

Prospect Report: Emil Heineman

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

It’s been a while since the last individual report I’ve posted, so I want to really go in-depth about why I love Emil Heineman. Heineman was not even on my radar coming into the season, and his production this year has been ridiculous. He’s got 21 goals and 14 assists for 35 points in 24 SuperElit games. It’s easy to look at the Leksands forward crop and say he’s scoring because of Nils Aman, Isak Rosen, Marcus Karlberg, and company. But trust me, Heineman is absolutely dominant on his own. I’ve been on planes for about 30 hours over the last 2 weeks, so it’s given me the chance to watch tons of film on him. And man, this kid is seriously good. The breakout Swede is a November 2001 birthday, putting him on the older side of the draft class. He currently stands 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds, a great frame for a scoring winger. Heineman reminds me a TON of Alex Nylander (when he was good). So prepare for lots of Nylander comparisons in the coming paragraphs.

Watching Heineman, it looks like he’s 2-3 years older and more developed than every other player on the ice. He thinks the game at an extremely high level, often 5-6 seconds ahead of the play. He’s a very strong skater, with quick feet, and great edges. Along with that, he’s got breakaway speed. Although it’s very effective, sometimes his skating isn’t that pretty. It’s kind of like Nylander’s, where he’s standing straight up even when he’s sprinting (except it somehow works for Heineman). Here’s an example of that:

As you see, he’s standing very straight, but still builds up tons of speed. Once he beats the first defenseman wide, he draws his partner in and threads a no look backdoor pass for a tap in. I’m not worried about Heineman’s skating at all, he’ll perfect it eventually. Plus he’s got a supercharged motor, so that works heavily in his favor. Heineman has been putting on a snipe show in the SuperElit, and his shot is elite in almost every way. His wrist shot release is one of the fastest in the draft class, his one timer is blistering, and even his backhand is very good. Heineman is a true goal scorer, he doesn’t shoot for the top corners every time. He reads the goalie, and puts it in the most open/difficult spot for the goalie to reach. This is why he’s averaging almost a goal a game. Here’s one of my favorite highlights that demonstrates this:

Heineman first analyzes the play and dives behind the net. Then in the span of about 3 seconds, he takes 2 key strides to separate from his man, receives the puck, reads the goalie, and scores. Heineman is able to find open ice better than most players, and it leads to tons of scoring opportunities for him. Watch how he reacts after this face-off is won:

The puck goes right to him, but Emil knows better. He lets it slide between his legs, dashes away from the puck and into open ice, turns around, and boom. He’s a master of these little plays, and sees the ice like a chess board. Here’s another example (sorry for the bad quality):

He fans on the one timer, but immediately retrieves the puck and draws 2 defenseman, before quietly slipping the puck back to his teammate to reset the power play. Heineman is also a master of the quick release. He’s scored quite a few goals this season on the forecheck, just because he can react so quickly. I grabbed a couple of these to show:

If not for how fast he gets these shots off, the goalie might actually stand a chance. Heineman’s one timer comes off just as quick, here’s a gorgeous one against Timra earlier this year:

He’s got a really special shot, and it deserves to be talked about amongst the best in this draft class. My favorite aspect of his game is his effort. Emil puts 100% into every shift, and makes the smart play every time. He’s so versatile, and can make such impressive plays night in and night out. Another one of my favorite highlights of his is this stretch pass to Nils Aman (again sorry for bad quality):

He gets the puck, looks up ice for about a half second, and sends a perfect pass onto Aman’s tape, leading to a breakaway goal. Defensively, Heineman is very reliable and has a strong stick presence. He clogs up lanes and can win board battles with ease. He usually wins them with his brain, but he definitely isn’t afraid to use his body. I wouldn’t call him a top penalty killer, but I’d have no problem sending him over the boards if I were his coach. His finishing skills in tight are also elite. He can score with a quick wrister or dangle the goalie with ease. I’ve pulled examples of both here:

In conclusion, Emil Heineman is awesome and I have been severely underrating him for a long time. I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if he hears his name called on day one of the draft.


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