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BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 8: Alexander Holtz

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We’ve got a sniper on deck, folks!

IHOCKEY-EUR-SWE-DJURGARDEN-MUNICH Photo by ERIK SIMANDER/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images

We’re back with our first weekend edition of the Community Draft Board, and next we’re taking a trip back to the SHL to talk about an exciting winger in Alexander Holtz. Flyers Twitter has been spending a lot of time talking a lot about picking up a sniper over the last day or so (but really, for much longer than that), and Holtz is, well, exactly that. He’s one of the best shooters in this draft class, and he’s coming off of a solid season with Djurgardens, having already broken into the SHL and carved out a role for himself. There’s a lot to be excited about here, so let’s just get right into it.

BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 8: Alexander Holtz

2019-20 Season:

Team: Djurgardens IF, SHL

Statistics: 9 G, 7 A in 35 GP

Pre-draft rankings

No. 2 (EU Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

No. 6 by Future Considerations

No. 9 by ISS Hockey

No. 6 by Wheeler/The Athletic

What’s there to like?

His stat line, in a vacuum, doesn’t really jump off the page, but it’s important to remember that this was the stat line of a 17/18 year old playing in Sweden’s top professional league, and playing a pretty significant role, at that. It isn’t an easy task to jump into a professional league at that age and not just manage to tread water, but to flat out succeed, and that’s what Holtz did last season, and it should speak volumes to his skill level.

But as for the particulars of his game, there really is a lot to like there. His shot is probably what jumps out the most, at first glance—Holtz has a stellar wrist shot, one that’s, at the very least, probably the best of this top prospect group. Indeed, this was my first impression of him the first time I saw him play at the World Juniors Summer Showcase last year, and not just the fact that his shot was so effective, but also the fact that he served as Sweden’s volume shooter, and wasn’t afraid to go to the front of the net to look for higher danger chances.

But we also shouldn’t overlook his playmaking ability, beyond pure scoring. This isn’t quite a hallmark of his game, as the pure scoring is the bit that gets the most attention, but Holtz is still a strong passer and has the vision to make plays to set up his teammates when the situation calls for it, so the offensive game is a bit more well rounded, still.

What’s not to like?

We mentioned it in out last section, but that playmaking ability is actually a bit of a point of contention between some scouts. We certainly see him making plays in flashes, but there are some that would like to see more, or are uncertain about his creative ceiling, which is certainly worth addressing.

The other piece that needs a bit of work is the skating—his overall speed once he gets moving is okay, but the first couple of steps are kind of a weak point, as it stands. If he could do some work to improve his overall quickness, that would definitely serve him well.

How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?

How long have Flyers fans been screaming that they need a true scorer? It feels like forever, really—

What’s that? I’m being told we have one of those already and people are just mad at him right now. Cool.

But all the same, and jokes aside, the Flyers have done really well in past drafts to load up on more pass-first, playmaking forwards, and they are a bit thinner in the pure scorer department, so if we’ve identified this as a need, Holtz would certainly fill it. As we’ve made note of in some of our earlier posts, the Flyers do have a wealth of wingers in the system, though, both in the pipeline and already at the NHL level, so it might not be an immediate, clear route to a spot in the Flyers’ top-9, but there is something to be said for fit winning out over position on the depth chart on paper.

Could the Flyers actually get him?

We’re still in that grouping where, if Holtz goes around where he’s projected to, the Flyers would have to make a pretty significant trade to move up and get him, because he would be off the board long before they’re slated to pick. It’s not completely out of the question—we’ve seen some weird things happen on draft day—but we’d be pretty surprised to see it happen.

We’ll make two additions to the poll:

Jan Mysak — C/LW, Litvinov (Czech)/Hamilton (OHL) — 5 G, 4 A in 26 GP and 15 G, 10 A, in 22 GP

As a player, Myšák is a sniper who gets his shot off without hesitation. His release is quick and his wrister is sharp as a tack. What has been interesting to see is how he has developed playmaking abilities to complement his goal-scoring habits. During his stint in Hamilton, he quarterbacked the power play from the point, setting up teammates just as well as ussing his powerful shot. This also demonstrated his ability to read the play, which works to his advantage in his defensive game as well. He is not overly physical, but instead uses his smarts and hockey IQ to be in the right spot on the ice to break up passes and cut off passing lanes for the opposition. - Habs Eyes On The Prize

Connor Zary — C, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)— 38 G, 48 A in 57 GP

Zary plays that middle-lane, tenacious, high-tempo game that every team covets in a centre. His feet are always moving, he pushes the pace, he’s engaged on the forecheck and he has enough skill to create as a playmaker and a passer.- The Athletic

2020 BSH Community Draft Board

  1. Alexis Lafreniere — LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
  2. Quinton Byfield — C, Sudbury (OHL)
  3. Marco Rossi — C, Ottawa (OHL)
  4. Tim Stützle — LW/C, Manheim (DEL)
  5. Cole Perfetti — LW/C, Saginaw (OHL)
  6. Lucas Raymond — RW, Frölunda (SHL)
  7. Jamie Drysdale — D, Erie (OHL)
  8. Alexander Holtz — LW/RW, Djurgardens (SHL)
  9. ???

***

Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?

Poll

Poll

Who should be No. 10 on the 2020 BSH Community Draft Board?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Anton Lundell
    (6 votes)
  • 8%
    Noel Gunler
    (1 vote)
  • 16%
    Jan Mysak
    (2 votes)
  • 25%
    Connor Zary
    (3 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now