With his season in Sweden coming to an end earlier this month, the Habs have found the next place to play for winger Emil Heineman as they announced on Monday that they’ve loaned the winger to Laval.
Montreal acquired Heineman last season not long after Kent Hughes took over as GM, bringing him in as part of the package in the Tyler Toffoli trade. He was initially a second-round pick by Florida back in 2020 (43rd overall) but was moved by the Panthers to Calgary soon after in the Sam Bennett swap.
The 21-year-old is on an NHL contract but the Canadiens decided to let him play this season at home. A training camp injury that cost him a couple of months created the opportunity for them to keep him in North America but the agreement had already been made that he’d go back to Leksand. Heineman had a bit of a quiet year, picking up eight goals and seven assists in 35 games, numbers that were similar to last season when he had a lower spot on the depth chart.
There was a possibility that Heineman could have gone straight to Montreal as that recall wouldn’t have counted against the four post-deadline recalls since the promotion wouldn’t have been from the minors. Considering that the Habs only have 12 healthy forwards right now, such a move would have been justifiable as well.
However, they’ve decided to make the safer development play by letting him go to the Rocket. Laval is quite weak up front at the moment due to the Habs pulling up several of their top forwards so there should be an opportunity for Heineman to play a big role fairly quickly in the hopes of helping Montreal’s farm team get back into the playoff mix.