Alexander Holtz signed his entry-level deal with the New Jersey Devils. Holtz will play for the Binghamton Devils instead of New Jersey.
There’s another 2020 NHL Draft pick on their way to @TheAHL, as the @NJDevils signed Alexander Holtz to an entry-level contract.@pwilliamsAHL has that, and more, in this latest edition of Around the AHL.
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) April 20, 2021
The nice part of the entry-level deal is that Holtz will have an ATO to play in the AHL for the rest of the season. Holtz was the seventh overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft. He played for Djurgårdens IF this year. Since they were eliminated from the playoffs early, the next logical step was signing Holtz to an ELC. The forward’s entry-level contract will start with the 2021-22 season.
What this all means for Holtz and New Jersey…
Honestly, this is best for everyone involved. The winger needs to get some confidence back after a rough season in the SHL. As everybody knows, coaches over there are not there to develop young players (see Gilles Senn).
This is what the deal looks like by the way.
The #NJDevils signed '20 #7 Pick RW Alexander Holtz to 3 year Entry Level Deal, starts 21-22.
Signing Bonus $92.5K
"A" Perf Bonuses $850K (max)
Cap Hit $925K, AAV $1.775M
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) April 19, 2021
The good news is that Holtz has put on a little weight. He is up to 183 pounds now and the expectation is he may gain a few more pounds by the start of next season. Holtz has a few more days to serve his “quarantine period”. After that, he will report to the Binghamton club who is playing in Newark this season.
Next season is likely in Utica (there will be a deeper dive on this soon enough) but at least Tom Fitzgerald and the Devils will be able to keep an eye on their young winger. Some will say why not bring him up now or early next season. However, the prudent thing is to let Holtz gain some confidence, see and adapt to the North American game, and let him develop.
Holtz had just seven goals and 18 points in 40 games in the SHL but did have two goals and two assists in their three-game playoff loss. He started to look better at the end of the season. Again, the important thing is letting the winger play. Holtz is a sniper but an underrated playmaker too. Most scouts found that out quickly enough.
Sweden did not select him to their World Championship roster which is to New Jersey’s benefit. Now, he gets a sneak peek at AHL hockey and may play a few games before the season ends.
A few more final words on Alexander Holtz
The biggest problem with New Jersey right now is obviously what is going on externally and internally. Alexander Holtz provides a chance to give hope to a franchise that needs a top pick to pan out. Too many draft picks have failed for developmental reasons.
Hopefully, Holtz gets the opportunity to develop at his own pace without the urgency to be rushed or worse. That is all New Jersey and its fans can hope for. The winger is quite the sniper but once he refines his game to North America, fans should be pleasantly surprised.