The New Jersey Devils have decided that the World Junior Championship is the best place for Alexander Holtz after all, announcing that they will allow him to play for Sweden at the upcoming tournament. Holtz had been playing in the AHL for most of this season, getting his feet wet in the NHL for six games as well.
Sweden released their roster in recent days, but had been keeping a spot open for Holtz if the Devils decided to release him for the tournament. The 19-year-old forward will actually be participating for the third time, as he’s been one of the most dangerous young forwards in Sweden for years. This season in the AHL, Holtz has ten points in ten games and he even added two assists in the six matches with the Devils. A bronze medallist at the 2020 event, he’ll join a Swedish team that has their eyes set on the podium once again.
Even if a player has proved they can handle professional hockey, the World Juniors is often considered one of the best places for development. Holtz and the other youngsters at the tournament will be put in games against those that they will face for the next decade, and for the Devils’ prospect in particular, be given a huge amount of responsibility. He very likely will be on the top line and the top powerplay unit, though this time he won’t have his old running mate Lucas Raymond, who is starring in the NHL and was not named to the team.