Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Alexander Holtz.
Alexander Holtz has been an important player on the International stage. He played on the Swedish teams at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, scoring two goals and seven points in five games, winning silver. Holtz played at the U17 World Hockey Challenge scoring four goals and eight points in six games, and taking home a bronze medal. He also appeared at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, scoring four goals and seven points in seven games and winning a gold medal. This season, Holtz put up three goals and five points in seven World Junior games and won a bronze medal.
Holtz has also been strong in the Djurgardens system. With 30 goals in 38 games, Holtz led the entire J20 league in 2018-19. He added four points in five playoff games, with Djurgardens finishing in third place. After playing three SHL games last year, Holtz has become a regular this season and has put up nine goals and 16 points in 35 games. He also put up nine points in just three j20 games this year. He has proven to be too advanced for the junior leagues.
Alexander Holtz Scouting Report
Right Wing/Left Wing — shoots Right
Born January 23rd, 2002 — Saltsjö-Boo, Sweden
Height 6’0″ — Weight 192 lbs [183 cm / 87 kg]
Holtz is a decent skater, but this is not a stand-out area of his game. His first few steps and his acceleration are merely decent. His top-end speed is also best described as adequate. Holtz is not slow, and he can keep up with the play, but he is not a speedster like many of the other top prospects in the draft. However, Holtz can still be elusive. His edgework and agility are very good and he can use these to wake quick cuts to avoid defenders. He is also strong on his skates, able to fight through checks and get to the front of the net as well as win battles along the boards.
Holtz is a pure sniper. He has an outstanding wrist shot and lightning-quick release. He also has an excellent slap shot and one-timer. Holtz even has a good backhand. He has the quick hands to change the angle of his release before firing the puck, fooling goaltenders. He can also get to the front of the net, scoring goals with his quick hands and excellent hand-eye coordination to get tips and bang in rebounds. Holtz has all the tools necessary to score goals at the NHL level.
Holtz also makes smart plays with and without the puck. While he has a shoot-first mentality, he also has the vision and passing skills to find open teammates and create scoring chances. He is able to control the puck down low and create space for those teammates to get open. While Holtz’s skating is not quite in the elite level of fellow top prospects, he makes up for it by almost always being in the right position. He has a knack for finding open spaces in the offensive zone when he doesn’t have the puck. He is also willing to work hard, getting in quickly on the forecheck and pressuring opponents into making mistakes.
Holtz’ defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. He is willing to work hard in helping on the backcheck and playing physical, however, he needs to get stronger to really make an impact when playing against men. Holtz can also work on his positioning as he has a tendency to overcommit and chase the puck a bit too much right now. The work ethic is there though, so with good coaching, he can improve this aspect of his game.
Projection and Comparison
While Alexander Holtz has some holes in his game and can become a more complete player going forward, he has one skill that simply can not be taught, the ability to put the puck in the net. The fact that he can be a pure sniper puts his ceiling as a first-line winger. That said he could use a year in Sweden continuing to work on his skating and defensive play. Holtz’ game is reminiscent of Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets. It should be noted that this is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Alexander Holtz that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Alexander Holtz Main Photo:
Djurgarden’s Alexander Holtz (C) is squeezed by Munich’s Yasin Ehliz (L) and Patrick Hager during the quarterfinal between Djurgarden Hockey and Red Bull Munich at the Champions Hockey League is a European ice hockey tournament on December 3, 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. – during the quarterfinal between Djurgarden Hockey and Red Bull Munich at the Champions Hockey League is a European ice hockey tournament on December 3, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Erik SIMANDER / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by ERIK SIMANDER/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)