The Dispatch: Emil Heineman and Leksand coach Björn Hellqvist
Catching up with Coach Hellqvist and Heineman on Heineman’s progress so far this season.
After Thursday's game between Frölunda and Leksand Eyes on the Prize got a chance to sit down individually with both Leksand’s coach Björn Hellqvist and Montreal Canadiens prospect, and Leksand player, Emil Heineman.
Mr. Hellqvist says right at the start of the interview that “At the moment he’s playing in our third line. [It’s] a kind of a checking line structure on that line, and he’s doing an awesome job there. But he doesn’t play with the offensive players maybe that he should because we can’t really use his shot, but on the other way he’s very comfortable in that role, so I think right now it’s good for him.”
It’s an interesting comment, something that shows the struggle of a coach and how the right way for the team can be wrong in other ways. Mr. Hellqvist continues, “Maybe we should find another role for him later on, coming into the playoffs, where we can actually use his shot a little bit more.”
When asked about Heineman’s weakness in the defensive zone Mr. Hellqvist defends his player’s situation; “I would actually disagree with that [defence is a weakness]. He is a very coachable player and he does what he’s told. I would not say it’s a weakness. His upsides and pros are definitely offence because of his shot, and his ability to position himself to shoot the puck. But I’m not saying it’s a weakness, maybe it’s not a pro.”
It is an interesting answer, I like that Mr. Hellqvist protects and defends his player, but on the other hand in the game against Frölunda, Heineman was sheltered and I only counted one start in the defensive zone, hence Mr. Hellqvist’s actions speak a different tune.
In the second part of the podcast we get to hear Emil Heineman speak about his time back in Sweden, something he acknowledges has been tough: “It’s been rough. It’s been quite the process to get back to where I want to be, but I feel like I started getting there. I [have] started to feel more confident with the puck. I feel like I’m more engaged than I was at the start of November when I got back. Like I said, it’s a process and you just gotta keep grinding and it will, it will show up.”
We also touch on his defence and what playing on a narrower rink in North America would do to his game.
The full interviews are included in the podcast;