As part of our Road to the Draft content series, NewJerseyDevils.com will be profiling the top North American and European Skaters eligible for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft. This will allow Devils and hockey fans at large to familiarize themselves with the next class of NHL talent. We now take a look at Djurgårdens forward Alexander Holtz.
WEIGHT: 183 lbs
POSITION: Right Wing
DRAFT YEAR PRODUCTION: 35 GP, 9 G, 7 A, 16 P
WHAT'S THE BUZZ
"Holtz is a sniper. I think as an 18-year-old, there are only two other 18-year-old players playing in the Swedish League who have better stats than Holtz and those two guys are Markus Naslund and Peter Forsberg so I think that says a lot about him as an offensive player and a sniper."
Goran Stubb, NHL director of European scouting, on the NHL Draft Class podcast.
CUT TO THE CHASE
Considered one of the best snipers of this draft class, Holtz ended the year ranked No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's list of European skaters. He's touted for his lethal shot and fast paced game with the stickhandling abilities to match.
Holtz spent the past season playing in the Swedish Hockey League as an 17-year-old playing against men for the first time. His 16 points put Holtz as the 10th best scorer on his Djurgårdens team. More notably, as a U18 player in Sweden's top league, he lead all U18's in points.
While his nine goals in the SHL may not sound like something to be noted, his nine goals tied for the third most by an under-18 player in SHL history. In nearly 30 years of SHL play, only Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund scored more as U18's. Not bad company.
Some consider Holtz the whole package, a wide variety of shots to choose from, above-average skating and of course, Hockey IQ. While we often hear about the goals Holtz has been able to score and touted as potentially the best scorer in this year's draft, he has also been praised for his playmaking ability and using that Hockey IQ to find his open teammates.
At every level Holtz has played in Sweden, he's been a standout.
Playing in Sweden's top U18 league, in 2017-18, Holtz had 23 goals and 45 points in just 17 games. In 2018-19 with Djurgårdens J20 team in the SuperElit league, he had 30 goals and 17 assists in 38 games. This young man is no stranger to making an offensive impact on any team he's played with.
DID YOU KNOW?
Holtz has a connection to the New Jersey Devils. During the summers, he trains alongside Devils forward Jesper Bratt in their native Sweden. The two know each other well and were seen training together with fitness coach Andreas Öhgren in April, after Bratt returned home to Sweden. Of Holtz, Bratt told SVT Sport, "He is an incredibly humble guy who works hard. An incredibly talented player who will have a good name in the future and really be a leading player in an NHL team."