New Jersey Devils: Analyzing A Pattern of Failed Swedish Prospects

Alexander Holtz playing for the Devils in preseason. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Alexander Holtz playing for the Devils in preseason. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils right wing Alexander Holtz (10): David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

Is This What’s Next For Alexander Holtz?

This all brings us to Alexander Holtz. At this point in time, it seems as if all of the reasons his predecessors failed are happening to Holtz. He was given time to develop, but not given enough time to play at the professional level. He keeps getting benched in favor of inferior players, and management keeps fumbling the ball.

Before the Devils’ loss to Washington on Friday night, it seemed as if Holtz would be a healthy scratch. However, Lindy Ruff put him in the lineup over Max Willman. Unfortunately, the offensive Holtz was saddled in a fourth-line role and not given an opportunity. Although Holtz has seen an uptick in his offensive production, Ruff seemingly does not trust him. If the Devils do not give Holtz a fair opportunity, they should just trade him.

Putting a seventh-overall pick from three years ago with Chris Tierney and Nate Bastian night in and night out will have him end up like Tedenby. Able to produce when given the opportunity, but never been given enough. Lindy Ruff has been around long enough to realize players like Holtz need ice time in situations where they can succeed. What Ruff is doing to Holtz is nothing short of putting Holtz behind the eight ball.

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Holtz has already proven he is above the AHL level. He has 62 points in 66 AHL games. When your team is down two offensive producers like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, you cannot keep your goal scorers in a very limited role. Ruff needs to change his ways with Holtz before the Devils fail yet another player’s development.

Even though the current regime was not there for the first four failed Swedish prospects, they have a chance to break the mold. Alexander Holtz can be the exception to the rule. Obviously, Jesper Bratt breaks all the molds, but he was a sixth-round pick. Something is missing from the way the Devils develop these first rounders. With that said, as it stands it is not looking good for Holtz. Hopefully, number 10 in red can become a full-time NHL regular with the Devils for a long time to come.