Emil Heineman, Leksands IF, SHL, Sweden
Heineman made his return to the ice in a game against Frölunda, but it was in his second game that he made a difference. He got on the scoreboard early, grabbing a free puck just outside the crease and with some smooth hands got it into position to put it in the net.
In the end the game finished in a shootout, and it fell on the Montreal prospect to try to finish it off, something he did in style.
Having been off the ice since early October, a bit of rust in Heineman’s game was to be expected, as well as some inconsistency. However, getting a goal early should alleviate some of the pressure.
I still see the same problems in his defensive assignments, and hopefully that will change with more usage. He was also used as a bumper in a 1-3-1 formation on the power play as Leksand will try to set him up for a quick shot. I think he and the team would benefit more by having Heineman on the half-wall, but his playmaking skills aren’t strong enough for that.
Frederik Dichow, Frölunda HC, SHL, Sweden
One game for Frederik this week, a game in the CHL where the goalie scored his first career goal in a fascinating way:
It was a tough game for Dichow. Both goals he let in were slapshots from in close that went just under the crossbar. Otherwise, he did what was expected and was especially strong during the killing off a five-minute major penalty.
Dichow should hopefully get a few more chances in the SHL as Lars Johansson, and Frölunda’s defence, having settled in, and Frölunda has taken a top-three spot in the SHL again.
Adam Engström, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden
It looked like Engström would be demoted to the U20s when Rögle added the Czech defender Lukas Klok to their team, but Engström has managed to stay with the SHL club. He gets the odd game in the U20 league, where he has 13 points (4G, 9A) in seven games, but the main focus is still the professional game of the SHL.
Engström gets about 12 minutes a game, and focus on the defensive end is there for all to see. It doesn’t mean that he only focuses on defence; if he has a chance, he will join in the offence and contribute. He had an assist when he stepped up on the offensive blue line to keep the puck in the zone in CHL this week.
His standout offensive contribution came in Saturday’s game against Luleå:
I can see Engström getting a few more U20 games in the upcoming weeks in order to get to play a bit more with Sweden’s squad for the WJC being named soon. However, it is clear that Engström has the trust of coach Cam Abbott, and U20 games will only happen if there is an opportunity and they don’t interfere with the SHL schedule.
Oliver Kapanen, KalPa, Liiga Finland.
It seems that Kapanen’s scoring comes in droves, as he ‘only’ had one assist this week. Kapanen had a really good Five Nations tournament in Czechia, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep that up when the WJC comes around. It will be especially important to see how he can handle a better opposition than two national development teams.
Petteri Nurmi, HPK, Liiga, Finland.
Nurmi continues his solid play in Liiga, always playing big minutes. HPK is far down the table and is currently outside of the playoffs, which could mean some stronger teams will inquire about his availability come the trade deadline.
Miguël Tourigny, Dukla Trenčín, Tipos Extraliga, Slovakia.
After a slow start, Tourigny has found himself a role in which he gets to play during the man advantage, and with that his scoring touch has started to take off. This week he scored the shootout winner against Slovan Bratislava, while also having an assist in the game. He followed up with the opening goal against Nitra.
Dmitri Kostenko, Kulun Red Star, KHL, China
Kostenko’s ice time is falling and this weekend he was dressed but didn’t get to play a second against Sochi.
Alexander Gordin, Rostov, VHL Russia.
No games for Gordin this week.