With the roster spot available after Scott Wedgewood was claimed off waivers, the New Jersey Devils have recalled top prospect, Alexander Holtz.
It’s been just four games for the Utica Comets this season, but the seventh-overall pick from 2020 has proven the AHL is no match for him. Holtz has five goals in those four contests and has registered 18 shots on net. It was only a matter of time before he found himself up with the NHL club, though there is obviously still plenty to prove at the highest level.
Armed with a lightning-fast release and a blistering shot, Holtz has always found a way to put the puck in the net, even if it does usually take him a little bit of time to adapt to a new level or challenge. In ten games last season with the Binghamton Devils he had just a single goal, but looks to have taken a substantial development step this time around. Now he’ll make the jump to the NHL, where similarly, goals may not come right away, but likely will at some point for the talented youngster.
Unlike in years past though, where the Devils were solely focused on development, this season there is a real push to be a competitive part of the Metropolitan Division. After a brilliant start, the team lost top center Jack Hughes to a shoulder injury and were shut out by the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The team generated 28 shots on John Gibson but were unable to find the twine, an easy explanation why Holtz is up to infuse some offensive punch.
Of note, Holtz’ contract is still eligible to slide forward another year should he fail to play in ten games at the NHL level. If the team decides he’s not quite ready after seeing him in action, they can still send him back to the minors and avoid burning the first year of his entry-level deal.
Holtz scored a nasty goal not long ago. Dude has wicked hands and can snipe. Devils have to hope that will translate to the NHL so Hughes has someone reliable to dish the puck to.