NHL Prospect Profile: Alexander Holtz

– Alexander Holtz –

Djurgårdens IF (SHL) | LW/RW | 2020 NHL Draft Eligible

Saltsjö-Boo, Sweden | 6-foot, 185lbs | Jan. 23rd, 2002

The upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft will be well-represented by Sweden, as Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond stand as two of the top prospects eligible for selection by patiently waiting NHL organizations. While Raymond is widely regarded as a pass-first style of player, Holtz has come to be defined by his ability to blast the puck into the back of the net and has proven his ability to do such with remarkable consistency in league play as well as on the international stage.

In fact, during the 2018-19 season alone, Holtz recorded a whopping 11 goals and 23 points in 18 games of international competition for Sweden. Further, he added 30 goals and 47 points with Djurgårdens IF J20 at the SuperElit level in just 38 games played — a rate of offensive production which led directly to Holtz’s promotion to the SHL to kick-start his 2019-20 season.

Strengths:

  • Skating Speed
  • Shot Release and Velocity
  • Puck Handling Abilities
  • On-Ice Vision and Playmaking Sense

When it comes to Holtz’s strengths, there are many. First and foremost there is Holtz’s skating speed — an ability which stands as the foundation of his game. Capable of eluding his defenders with relative ease, Holtz features the straight-line speed necessary to force his opposition onto their heels and can create a great deal of time and space for himself in the process. What’s more is that Holtz isn’t afraid to drive hard to the net — he can combine his speed and growing agility to change directions and discombobulate his defenders.

Having flown into the attacking zone, it is quite common to see Holtz unleash his sizzling shot — an ability which makes him one of the top goal-scorers eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. Defined by its Auston Matthews-like release, Holtz’s shot has the accuracy and velocity necessary to beat opposing goaltenders cleanly with impressive consistency. In addition to his lethal wrist-shot, Holtz also boasts an impressive slapper and the unique ability to score goals on one-timers taken from a distance.

However, Holtz is more than just a goal-scorer, as the youngster features incredible puck-handling abilities and the on-ice vision necessary to create and implement high-quality scoring chances in combination with his teammates. What’s more is that Holtz features a tremendous feel for the game — an innate ability which allows him to sense the positioning of his teammates or slide into open ice in order to receive the puck and fire it on-goal. It is these abilities which allow Holtz to stand as a dynamic and versatile two-threat capable of producing offence in a wide variety of forms.

Weaknesses:

  • Skating Agility and Acceleration

Given Holtz’s projection as a likely top-five talent in the 2020 NHL Draft, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are a slim few areas in need of improvement with respect his game.

The most notable of which, however, is surely Holtz’s skating acceleration as well as his agility while moving at top speed. Although he features high-end speed and the ability to create separation between himself and his opposition, Holtz boasts average acceleration and can therefore be caught by defenders if he receives the puck from a standstill. Moreover, once he has reached top speed, Holtz’s agility is fairly average — while he can change direction while maintaining his speed fairly well, Holtz is slightly predictable in doing so and can be thwarted somewhat easily at times.

Now, this not to say that Holtz is a poor skater by any means, but rather that room for improvement does exist within this particular facet of his game — especially so if he wishes to enjoy a seamless transition to the NHL-level in the near future.

Future Potential:

At the end of the day, Holtz is a high-end talent eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft and arguably its most lethal goal-scorer. Capable of traversing the ice with relative ease and decisive in his ability to do so, Holtz places overwhelming pressure on opposing defenders and stands as an unpredictable threat owing to his ability to shoot and pass the puck with absolute authority.

While room for improvement does exist within his game, Holtz should be able to eliminate any deficiencies with ease as he continues to strengthen his already intimidating frame. In short, Holtz is an excellent offensive player who should develop into a persistent threat at the NHL-level in little to no time whatsoever. Once his skating matches his puck-handling skills and shot, he should grow into a top-six forward with little issue.

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