The Colorado Avalanche would love to draft a finisher like Alexander Holtz, but he won’t fall to their draft position.
The Colorado Avalanche scouts are probably reviewing their draft notes as the 2020 NHL Draft may well take place in early June. I’m sure they have notes on right wing Alexander Holtz, but just cursory notes since the winger is unlikely to drop to their late 20’s first-round selection.
Holtz is an 18-year-old out of Saltsjö-Boo, Sweden, and let me just say that’s a great name for a town. He’s ranked #2 for European skaters by Central Scouting. He’s expected to go between #5 to #9 in the draft.
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Holtz started out the season playing for the SuperElit league, where he spent the better part of the last two seasons. However, this season the 6-foot, 183-pound winger made the transition to the premier Swedish league, the SHL. He’s also represented Sweden in many international competitions.
Let’s look at what the young Swede brings to the table as a prospect.
Alexander Holtz Stats
During the 2018-19 season, Alexander Holtz played three games for Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League. However, he spent the majority of the time with Djurgårdens IF J20 of the SuperElit. He played 38 games for them and recorded 30 goals and 17 assists for 47 points.
This season, he played just three games for Djurgårdens IF J20. He recorded an impressive 7 goals and 2 assists in those three games before transitioning to the SHL. In 35 games there, he managed just 9 goals and 7 assists — remember, though, that’s a man’s league.
In 2018-19, he represented Sweden in the World Hockey Championship 17, wearing the C for captain for the Swedish u17 team. He recorded 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points in 6 games. He also played in the World Junior Championship 18, wearing the A for alternate on the U18 team. He got 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points in 7 games.
Last season, in all his international competitions playing on the U20 team, he recorded 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 17 games.
Alexander Holtz Highlights
Alexander Holtz in known as a pure goal scorer. Elite Prospects praises his “impressive wrist shot and slapper.” The site continues:
"“Has the ability to know exactly where to be on the ice to make things happen. Also a smart player with good on-ice-vision and fine technical skills.”"
However, the site does see some issue in his skating, saying his acceleration could be better.
Bill Placzek of DraftSite labels him a “finisher,” one who plays strong around the net. He adds:
"“Strong on the puck, he has a good feel for getting in the right spots to capitalize. A responsible backchecker and player without the puck, his deceptive speed allows him to backcheck, and in support.”"
Placzek also sees issue with his acceleration, claiming the winger doesn’t have that “final gear.”
Apparently once he gets going, though, he’s fast. Here’s what Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects says:
"“An elite shooter who can finish from all around the offensive zone. Anticipates well and gets his body into a position to fire. Owns above-average speed and puck skills to go with the killer instinct.”"
Above average speed sounds pretty good.
Let’s take a look at this kid for ourselves.
He does have a nose for the puck.
Colorado Avalanche and Alexander Holtz
I like how Alexander Holtz plays the game. He finds the puck and stays on it. I haven’t watched a full game, so I can’t speak to the speed aspect of his play, but he does seem to have power in his skating.
What I find interesting is how many more of his points come from goals that assists. That’s why he’s known as a finisher, not a playmaker. That’s definitely not a bad quality.
I do hope Holtz comes to North America to play that style of game — he looks like he’d be well cut out for it. Of course, that won’t be for the Colorado Eagles — he’ll be long gone by the time GM Joe Sakic video conferences in the Colorado Avalanche’s pick.
Colorado will get a nice depth player in the first round. Alexander Holtz is destined to be a little more to his future NHL team.