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Projected Habs line-up for 24-25: Rafaël Harvey-Pinard excluded
Credit: Photo by Vitor Munhoz/NHLI via Getty Images

Unfortunately, it’s still a long time (too long) before we get to see Montreal Canadiens hockey again.

Indeed, the 2024-2025 season is still a long way off, and between now and then, even if Kent Hughes will most certainly go on vacation at some point, many things can still change.

Nonetheless, for the time being, we can have fun projecting and imagining what the Montreal Canadiens line-up will look like next season, based on the players currently on the team.

Of course, there are some decisions that won’t require a second thought, such as the state of the Habs’ first line.

Barring a huge surprise or reversal of fortune, the Habs’ first forward line will consist of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky.

And this line-up is a given in almost 100% of the Tricolore’s line-up predictions for next season.

This is also the case for the TVA Sports projection.

However, there’s one thing that stands out in this TVA Sports projection, and that’s the absence of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard in the 12-man forward line-up.

Indeed, RHP is excluded from the line-up in this prediction of the Habs line-up to start the 24-25 season.

Obviously, Harvey-Pinard wasn’t a certainty for next season, especially considering the arrival of Alex Barré-Boulet.

However, it’s not the newcomer who is being inserted into the TVA Sports line-up.

Instead, it’s young Emil Heineman who finds himself on the left wing of the 4ᵉ line, along with Jake Evans and Joel Armia.

At first glance, it’s a prediction that surprised me, but on reflection, it’s rather logical.

Heineman, 22 (he’ll be 23 on November 16), is a young player who is very close to the NHL, as evidenced by his few call-ups to the Canadiens last season.

The Swede will certainly want to make his mark for good with the Habs, and if he has a good camp, he could be favored at RHP, especially given his larger frame, which would clearly be more suited to the label of a fourth-line winger.

At 6 feet 202 pounds, Heineman might fare better than Harvey-Pinard (5 feet 9 inches 184 pounds) on a fourth line.

RHP has had success, especially when he’s played in the Habs’ top-9, even on the first line.

Last season, when he played more of a supporting role on the fourth line, it was much more difficult for the 25-year-old Quebecer.

In short, Heineman could very well carve out a position in the sun at the Quebecer’s expense.

Last year, Heineman was the last forward cut from the Habs training camp.

As for the defense, we find the top-6 that would undoubtedly be ideal for Tricolore fans, but the problem is that this leaves Justin Barron, Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble out of the lineup.

Barron and Harris will have to go through the waivers next season, and so, if they aren’t traded, it would be surprising to see them cut from the lineup at the expense of, say, Logan Mailloux.

All this remains to be seen, as Martin St-Louis and the Habs staff will have to make a number of important decisions.

Overtime

– Happy Birthday! The Habs prospect is now 22.

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