Laval Rocket forward Emil Heineman is out indefinitely after suffering an upper body injury in a collision with a referee.

The hit came 3:40 into the second period of Saturday’s game against the Abbotsford Canucks.  Heineman was carrying the puck along the boards deep in the Canucks zone, pursued closely by a defender. The official looked to move behind the net, but with the players moving in quickly, held position and attempted to jump past the puck carrier.  The ref’s knee appeared to make contact with Heineman’s head before both fell to the ice.

Heineman left the game and did not return.

Abbotsford went on to win the game 5-3. Referees were Mathieu Menniti (#30) and Elizabeth Mantha (#2); linesmen were Anthony Lapointe (#58) and Jarrett Burton (#6).

Heineman, acquired by the Canadiens as part of the Tyler Toffoli trade, spent most of last season with Leksands IF in the Swedish Hockey League before joining the Rocket last March.  He skated in Habs’ training camp on a like with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

“He’s got a lot speed, he can shoot the puck,” said Montreal head coach Martin St. Louis. “He’s a young guy that you’re trying to give an opportunity to.” 

While the injury to Canadiens forwar Kirby Dach may have opened the door, Heineman’s own injury will keep him sidelined with no timetable on his return.