With Nico Daws Ascension, New Jersey Devils Can Hold Onto Alexander Holtz

The New Jersey Devils have moved towards making Nico "Bear Paws" Daws the starter in net. Hockey Hall of Fame Netminder and EVP of Hockey Operations Martin Brodeur played a key role in drafting the German-Canadian netminder. His development is starting to pay dividends.

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Nico Daws has been a revelation in net for the New Jersey Devils. Since a bad game against Carolina which he was pulled after only 23 minutes, he's won three of his past four starts. He handles adversity rather well. He played all four games last week with a minimum of .931 sv%. The big win in the Stadium Series has shown having a calm, aggressive (oxymoron) goalie in net with very good athletic edgework and reflexes will make you the starter. He helped set the tone with the Devils' defense, which helped generate high-octane offensive counterattacks versus the Flyers.

Now that Daws has been established, New Jersey needs to go for a backup goalie with experience who can take the load off so he doesn't have to keep his foot on the gas pedal every single game. It would be good to see Tom Fitzgerald make a move without sacrificing the near-term assets. It's clear they need to make a deal that allows them to hold onto winger Alexander Holtz.

There is a big blemish in Lindy Ruff's armor, and that is Alexander Holtz's playing time. He has averaged 11:44 this season, but at the Stadium Series, it was just 5:53, which is a bad move on Ruff's end. If Holtz had more playing time, it is possible he could have scored a goal or an assist.

Holtz's nine shifts were rather competitive in playing well along the boards and getting the chances to help the Devils increase their odds of offensive zone time. It is only a matter of time before Alexander Holtz erupts before the next upcoming games for the Stockholm, Sweden native. Lindy Ruff has to let Holtz play top-nine minutes in his young career.

Holtz being mentioned in trade rumors so early in his career could come back to bite Tom Fitzgerald in the long term. Nolan Foote is returning, and Arseni Gritsyuk is coming over from the KHL eventually. It would be a huge mistake to move Holtz. It can turn out like when the Capitals traded Martin Erat for Filip Forsberg. Basically, the Capitals surrendered a future stud goal scorer for an aging veteran. Fitzgerald should not give up a young sniper for an aging veteran netminder. If the Devils can get a goalie that doesn't break the trajectory of this team, it'll be helpful in the growth of the team as a whole, with Alexander Holtz gaining more experience in New Jersey.