(Minneapolis, Minnesota) A week after his recall, the wait is over for Emil Heineman. The striker will play his very first match in the National League on Thursday.

Martin St-Louis confirmed that Heineman will join the Canadian’s lineup against the Minnesota Wild. The Swede will take the place of Michael Pezzetta. Moreover, St-Louis will use the same formation as Monday in Winnipeg, with the exception of its goalkeeper, who will be Samuel Montembeault.

At 6′ and 202lbs, Heineman has good size and he’s not afraid to use it, as we’ve seen in his last two training camps.

“Generally, Europeans like to have space, play with their skills. Not that Heineman doesn’t like it, but he has a physical side, he has the sandpaper that it takes in the National League, mentioned St-Louis, in a meeting with the media at the hotel where the Canadian is staying. It’s up to him to find his identity in the league and buy himself some time while waiting for his offensive production. But what we saw in the second half of camp and in training, he is ready to help us. »

Heineman had a quiet start to the camp, before standing out a little more. The fact remains that in four preparatory matches, he had been cleared from the scoresheet and had a differential of -3. The Swede then suffered an injury and was out from mid-October until December 1st. In seven games with the Rocket, he scored four points (one goal, three assists).

His usage time will be interesting to monitor, since he will play with Mitchell Stephens and Jesse Ylönen. Monday, in Winnipeg, this unit was limited to six minutes of play.

Since the start of the season, excluding players who left a match due to injuries, it has happened 23 times that a CH attacker has played less than eight minutes. In the entire 2022-2023 season, this had happened 24 times, again excluding injuries.

“It’s about managing games. We are more often in a position to win this year, so you try to get the team to the finish line, argued St-Louis. It’s certain that when we play two games in two nights on the road, I would like to separate the minutes better. Sometimes it’s the circumstances, but I would like to use my fourth line a little more. »

For the Wild, Filip Gustavsson will defend the net. Winner of the Canadian during the Wild’s visit to Montreal at the start of the season, Fleury will therefore not be able to add a 28th victory to his record against CH.