After a year of hard work in the American Hockey League and an abbreviated training camp with the Ducks, 22-year-old Holland will center the fourth line in Anaheim's home opener.
"As a scorer he's not being put in a position to score being on the so-called fourth line, but we'd love to see where his compete level is," Boudreau said. "When they talk about him game in and game out, the consistency of the compete level isn't there, but I'd like to see a solid game from him. And if somebody in the top three centers go out, he's a guy that can easily replace them with offensive ability. We think it's a good fit right now."
Boudreau said Rakell, Anaheim's first round pick in 2011, "has been very good" the first two games. But Holland might be the right fit long term given he has more professional experience.
A center in the Ryan Getzlaf mold with a good shot, Holland scored a goal in a four-game stint with Anaheim last season under former coach Randy Carlyle. He is the leading scorer for Norfolk, the Ducks' American Hockey League team, and was named to the AHL All-Star team.
Holland naturally was eager to get in the lineup and knows this is a new opportunity under Boudreau.
"I definitely think there's a little bit of anxiety and a little bit of nervousness," Holland said. "Obviously the goal was to be in every game this year. To not play the first two makes you really want to come out and have a good showing here, and especially in the home opener."
Here is the lineup the Ducks likely will go with Friday: