2023-24 New Jersey Devils: Scouting Alexander Holtz’s Potential

Alexander Holtz #10 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on September 25, 2023 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)
Alexander Holtz #10 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on September 25, 2023 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /

Former seventh-overall NHL Draft pick Alexander Holtz is possibly the most intriguing name in New Jersey Devils training camp. It’s been three years since his draft day, but it is important to remember that you don’t stop scouting and critiquing players looking for constructive criticism. As a video scout for Draft Prospects Hockey and a contributor for Pucks and Pitchforks, it is my duty to be as direct as possible for you, the reader, when it comes to players in the pipeline, and trying to live up to their potential.

Alexander Holtz’s Progression

Holtz has shown how effective he can be in multiple areas of the offensive zone already in both the NHL (mostly in preseason) and the AHL. He has no problem generating shots from anywhere but the low-danger center and right-wing zones looking to put his heavy shot to the test. From the low-danger left-wing flank, he is 80% effective from that spot. The Swedish winger is over 43% productive from the low-danger left-wing flank.

In the mid-danger slot, Alexander Holtz is over 50% effective shooting in that zone, and if he can get more traffic up front with Nolan Foote, you might see that percentage jump by a good 5% each try. Holtz is 71% more productive in the high-danger slot as he gets closer to whip that puck on net, and is a true finisher from that area. On the right-wing side, the Devils prospect is an even 50% effective when you add in the goals, shots on net, missed shots, and blocked shots when he’s not near the offensive blue line.

How Holtz Looks

The Stockholm native has appeared to be lighter and more conditioned this preseason. He’s looked swift and agile after a summer training program with Jesper Bratt’s trainer. In a recent versus Philadelphia, Holtz looked very confident in his overall awareness in a shift after a faceoff Nico Hischier won.

On that same play, Holtz retreated calmly and had more endurance playing with a top line, and did a figure of 8 skate technique to get himself moving up the neutral zone. He showed more explosiveness in his hips and how he pivoted his skates. Leading up to the scoring drive, Holtz was creeping in on the opposing blueline and darting into the high-danger slot for the snapshot goal.

If Holtz can keep following these sets of techniques in his toolkit on top of his current talent level, just adding an extra layer of compete will help. Not only would this help him make the roster, but being a consistent player game in and out, being responsible in his own zone, neutral zone, and offensive zone will make him a comeback-caliber player for 2023-24 Fantasy Hockey owners to have.

Heads Up

After falling victim to the New Jersey Devils 13-game win streak and having to be sent down to Utica, it was important that he gained confidence. His overall defensive awareness last year was below par. His skating was a bit choppy and lagged fluidity at the NHL level. As mentioned before, his overall body type needed to be improved to endure more time on ice for a long season.

Holtz’s shot wasn’t the problem, but it was his awareness in other zones where he needed help. His defense could still use work, and he has to get better at winning puck battles at the NHL level. Yes, he is a sniper on the wing, but you’re playing at a high tier of hockey in the world where you have to improve your overall effort and game.


Not only should Holtz keep playing right wing, but he also tends to shoot from the left wing. He needs to play Top 9 minutes and play with more defensive-minded forwards that will bail him out and feed him the puck so he can focus more on being a goal scorer. Keep activating those hips and pivoting your skates toward where the upcoming play will be.

The famous Wayne Gretzky once said: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

With this Gretzky-ism in mind, it is important that Coach Lindy Ruff and Associate Coach Travis Greene give him a winger and a center that think and skate well together. If Holtz can manage to play on a line with a high-quality center and a physical, big-bodied winger, this balanced chemistry could make this Devils team lethal offensively.

Moderate Expectations

In an 82-game season for a guy like Alexander Holtz, don’t expect him to hit 30-plus goals, but if he crosses 20 goals and 45 points, this would be a huge improvement for him. Can Travis Greene tap into Holtz’s potential, popping north of 20 goals in a season? If Holtz does hit 30-plus goals under Travis Greene, he will likely be a long-term fixture and key cog as a Devils winger.

Power Play

The Power Play got five shots off on Igor Shesterkin during the preseason game against the New York Rangers. If Holtz was on that power play, seeing him do a one-timer or a quick wrister with more traffic up front would have likely resulted in a goal. Speaking of the power play, getting Holtz out on PP unit two would help him get more time and space, and when opponents don’t block his shots on the power play, he is a dangerous opponent in every area.

Holtz is more capable of shooting from anywhere in all power play situations. On the contrary, if you give Holtz more situations just staying in the high danger zones on the attack, he’s almost guaranteed a surefire point when he’s on the ice.