14th ranked U24 Habs player - Emil Heineman

Emil Heineman is one of the purest shooters that the Canadiens have, his potential is obvious, but he just needs a chance.
New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery, there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher, there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 14th best player, in my opinion, Emil Heineman.

Emil Heineman was once, in my opinion, neck and neck with Jesse Ylonen, but Heineman seems to have leapfrogged the Finnish forward. Despite playing only four games for the Canadiens, Heineman, while in the AHL, has done something Ylonen hasn't, put the puck in the net. There are plenty of defensive players, but none that have the potential Ylonen has, unfortunately, it hasn't translated into his offensive game.

Meanwhile, Heineman has shown a bit of a physical edge and he uses it to make his way into the offensive zone. While he is a great shooter, he is no slouch in the passing game, the threat he possesses to shoot constantly opens up ice for his linemates. His penchant for shooting pucks is something the Canadiens need and because of it, I think he will get a good look next season.

There is another guy, who is a little higher up the list who could push Heineman out of the lineup and possibly the organization. But without knowing what the future holds, Heineman sits firmly as the 14th-best under-24 player in the organization. He has shown an ability to terrorize AHL goalies and I suspect with a little more time in Montreal, he will find a way to burn NHL goalies also.

Through 59 games, Heineman has scored a modest 22 goals, which doesn't sound like a mind-boggling statistic. But he has also been challenged to play a strong two-way game, should he have hopes of finding sustainable ice time at the NHL level. Next season will be a particularly interesting one for many of the forwards, especially if Hughes adds another forward or two to raise the level of competition.

With Lane Hutson set to play next season in Montreal, having a few left shot options to one-touch the puck to will help the Habs increase their scoring production. Juraj Slafkovsky showed that he can be that threat, so if Heineman and Joshua Roy can find a spot in the lineup, Hutson and Mike Matheson will have some great options to pad their assist totals.