Leksands J20 (Superelit)
Steve Kournianos | 5/3/2020 | Nashville | [hupso]
Position: Left Wing
Height / Weight: 6’1, 185 lbs
Born: November, 16th, 2001 | Leksand, Sweden
The Draft Analyst Ranking:
|2019-20||Sweden (U19 5N)||4||2||3||5||+2||2||1||—||1||1.25|
A high-flying winger who plays physical but also has impressive puck skills to make a consistent impact in the offensive zone, Heineman was the top scorer in the J20 Superelit’s North Division in not only goals (21) and points (35), but also with an absurd 31.8 shooting percentage. After having an otherwise nondescript draft-1 season in 2019, Heineman exploded out of the gate to go from role player to top-line minutes within the first weeks of the campaign. He later earned a spot on the under-19 squad for the February Five Nations Tournament in Berlin, where he was one of Sweden’s top scorers with five points in four games. Heineman also appeared in the first 11 SHL games of his career, collecting two assists.
Skating and Stickhandling
Heineman is an explosive skater with a lightning-quick first step. He packs a lot of power into his long stride and humbled several of Sweden’s best skating junior-aged defensemen. Whether it’s a chip-and-chase or an odd-man rush, Heineman knows how to manipulate his speed based on the positioning and body language of the opponents attempting to check him. He can maintain control of the puck on his backhand while barreling towards the net before releasing one just before the goalie is in poke-check range. He has tremendous balance when skating into heavy traffic and will conduct multiple directional changes. Heineman looks comfortable and effortless when being leaned on by a bigger defender and can get low to the ground on his edges.
Heineman has ideal size, length, and build, and all three combine to make an immediate impression on his opponents when he is involved in board battles. One noteworthy aspect of Heineman’s physical play is that he will wear down defenders in the short game then leave them in the dust with an explosive thrust up ice. He can execute set plays off of possession changes or faceoffs, and Heineman utilizes his soft hands to handle crisp passes from short distances.
Shooting and Playmaking
A cerebral player who takes the right routes and makes good decisions on or off the puck, Heineman is the quintessential playmaker because he puts defensemen and goalies on notice the second he hops over the boards. He is poised when controlling the puck along the half-wall or behind the net, and he is more than confident in his abilities to split the seam with an accurate pass, especially on the power play and regardless of distance. If he’s afforded too much time and space, Heineman is more than happy to bring his elite shot to bear. If he isn’t sharpshooting for the corner or inside post, Heineman uses his shot power from any angle to create rebounds in front. Overall, he’s an unselfish player who seems to use his shot more in open ice than within the confines of a clogged offensive zone.
Heineman rarely killed penalties but is a sound defensive forward. Not only does he engage in (and win) battles along the wall in his own end, he also hustles on the backcheck and also applies intense pressure on the forecheck. Being a constant breakaway threat who anticipates possession changes can leave Heineman by himself at center ice when things don’t go Leksands’ way. Still, he is far from a liability in his own end and can be counted on to make late-game hustle plays that help preserve leads.