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Utica Comets Thread 2021-22


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On 5/20/2022 at 12:53 PM, MadDog2020 said:

I can: Jesper Boqvist.

I don't recall him being a bad skater to begin with; or at least as bad as Holtz.

On 5/20/2022 at 2:40 PM, Jimmy Leeds said:

Bobby Nystrom

I am not comparing a player's skating in 2022 to that of one from 40 years ago.

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On 5/20/2022 at 5:29 PM, devlman said:

Not to mention working with professional trainers and developing lower body strength. Holtz’ skating will be fine. There are plenty of all stars in the NHL that aren’t top end speed skaters (Tarasenko, Kopitar, Suzuki, Forsberg, etc…)

Those players have more tools in their arsenal than their shot.  Holtz really doesn't have a ton else besides his shot and his skating really prevents him from even taking full advantage of that.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Those players have more tools in their arsenal than their shot.  Holtz really doesn't have a ton else besides his shot and his skating really prevents him from even taking full advantage of that.

This is wrong. His passing is actually pretty good. Much better than I thought based off the scouting reports leading up to his draft. He only had one less assist than he did goals this year. He also has really good hands. Probably his nicest goal he’s scored so far was from the crease. 

This is from a THN article on Holtz:

This has also opened up Holtz’s underrated playmaking ability as well. He doesn’t always identify his teammates in good scoring positions, an area that still needs to be worked on by the young forward, but he does display the requisite skill to make passes that are a higher difficulty than expected out of a player known more for his goal-scoring exploits.

Edited by Nicomo
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I’ve heard that comment about Holtz’s skating quite a few times. I’m not sure where it’s coming from. He’s not a bad skater, and as Nicomo mentioned above, he is not a one dimensional sniper. I don’t think his skating will hold him back at the next level. Is he being confused with Foote?

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2 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

Those players have more tools in their arsenal than their shot.  Holtz really doesn't have a ton else besides his shot and his skating really prevents him from even taking full advantage of that.

Another hard disagree on one of your unreasonably pessimistic assessments.

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1 hour ago, Nicomo said:

This is wrong. His passing is actually pretty good. Much better than I thought based off the scouting reports leading up to his draft. He only had one less assist than he did goals this year. He also has really good hands. Probably his nicest goal he’s scored so far was from the crease. 

This is from a THN article on Holtz:

This has also opened up Holtz’s underrated playmaking ability as well. He doesn’t always identify his teammates in good scoring positions, an area that still needs to be worked on by the young forward, but he does display the requisite skill to make passes that are a higher difficulty than expected out of a player known more for his goal-scoring exploits.

That sentence doesn't make sense.  He cannot identify teammates in good scoring positions (something kinda required of a good playmaker) but he can make difficult passes?  What good are difficult passes when he cannot identify the person in the better scoring position?

27 minutes ago, nessus said:

I’ve heard that comment about Holtz’s skating quite a few times. I’m not sure where it’s coming from. He’s not a bad skater, and as Nicomo mentioned above, he is not a one dimensional sniper. I don’t think his skating will hold him back at the next level. Is he being confused with Foote?

Have you seen him play?  He doesn't fall over but he is slow and is often behind the rest of his linemates.  I am far from the only one who has seen that out of him.

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6 minutes ago, devlman said:

Another hard disagree on one of your unreasonably pessimistic assessments.

I apologize for thinking that our 7th overall in 2020 looked worse in his NHL games compared to a guy drafted about 10 spots behind him and tailed off considerably in the second half of the AHL.

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24 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

I apologize for thinking that our 7th overall in 2020 looked worse in his NHL games compared to a guy drafted about 10 spots behind him and tailed off considerably in the second half of the AHL.

Is that what we’ve been discussing?

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

That sentence doesn't make sense.  He cannot identify teammates in good scoring positions (something kinda required of a good playmaker) but he can make difficult passes?  What good are difficult passes when he cannot identify the person in the better scoring position?

It makes perfect sense. They are saying he needs to work on his recognition. That’s something that can be helped with coaching. And he can improve his processing, but as stated - he already has the hands/touch/accuracy to be able to make the difficult passes. 

Edited by Nicomo
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I'm not giving up on Holtz by any stretch, but I'm giving up on the idea of him jumping into the NHL and making an instant impact, even with a solid start in his first pro season here...right now he's a guy who's good enough to have some success in the AHL (and as long as he's down there I would expect him to put up numbers), but I think as far as the NHL goes, he's going to need a lot of refinement.  That's not to say it can't be done, just that I think he's going to need at least a couple of years before he starts to settle in.  If he proves me wrong, awesome.  If he becomes a consistently productive player 3 years or so from now, also great...not everyone develops quickly.

It was one game out of nine, and I'm not going to pretend that nine games are definitive, but in the final game, he looked like he was going to have an opportunity to skate in alone for a good scoring opportunity...and then was easily caught from behind and nullified.  Just seems like he doesn't have much speed or explosiveness.

The above being said, he might eventually be more like a MLB pitcher whose fastball only tops out in the low 90s, but knows how to pitch and has ways of being effective.  Some guys learn that knack of knowing where to be and finding ways to make up for shortcomings in their games.  I definitely don't think it's fair to assume that Holtz can't possibly improve his knowledge of the game or can't find ways to better his skillset (not saying that DM84 is doing that), but needing to put that much effort into improving his all-around game (and becoming a hardcore student of the game) is going to take time and he'll probably look pretty bad at times as that process unfolds.  Hopefully by his Age 22 or 23 season, it all starts to come together.   

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I'm not giving up on Holtz by any stretch, but I'm giving up on the idea of him jumping into the NHL and making an instant impact, even with a solid start in his first pro season here...right now he's a guy who's good enough to have some success in the AHL (and as long as he's down there I would expect him to put up numbers), but I think as far as the NHL goes, he's going to need a lot of refinement.  That's not to say it can't be done, just that I think he's going to need at least a couple of years before he starts to settle in.  If he proves me wrong, awesome.  If he becomes a consistently productive player 3 years or so from now, also great...not everyone develops quickly.

It was one game out of nine, and I'm not going to pretend that nine games are definitive, but in the final game, he looked like he was going to have an opportunity to skate in alone for a good scoring opportunity...and then was easily caught from behind and nullified.  Just seems like he doesn't have much speed or explosiveness.

The above being said, he might eventually be more like a MLB pitcher whose fastball only tops out in the low 90s, but knows how to pitch and has ways of being effective.  Some guys learn that knack of knowing where to be and finding ways to make up for shortcomings in their games.  I definitely don't think it's fair to assume that Holtz can't possibly improve his knowledge of the game or can't find ways to better his skillset (not saying that DM84 is doing that), but needing to put that much effort into improving his all-around game (and becoming a hardcore student of the game) is going to take time and he'll probably look pretty bad at times as that process unfolds.  Hopefully by his Age 22 or 23 season, it all starts to come together.   

THREE years from now? LOL WHAT? Just because he was caught from behind on a play in a brand new league where he’s adjusting to the pace? 

He had a very good first year as a pro. Expect to see him playing and producing in the NHL as soon as next season. His skating is fine and his awareness is excellent.

Edited by devlman
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, devlman said:

THREE years from now? LOL WHAT? Just because he was caught from behind on a play in a brand new league where he’s adjusting to the pace? 

He had a very good first year as a pro. Expect to see him playing and producing in the NHL as soon as next season. His skating is fine and his awareness is excellent.

To reach his potential (or what we hope his potential is), yeah, I do think it's going to take him some time...for one, he's still pretty damned young...he's only 20, and he started off his first pro season as a 19-year-old.  I didn't see anything that suggests that he's going to light up the NHL during his first full season there.  If he plays 65+ games, scores 15+ goals and appears to be getting more and more comfortable throughout the year in 2022-23, I'd consider that a plenty solid first step.  If he builds off that (but still needs more work), I'd be fine with his second year too.  If he's looking like a near-finished product in his third year...yeah, I'd be happy with that.  Is that so outrageous?  Guys sometimes need time.  I can find plenty of examples of players who needed 2-3 years to develop as NHLers (some even more).  

I get making too much out of what amounts to a minuscule sample, but again, I didn't see anything that had me thinking that Holtz is going to just waltz into the NHL and start rolling as soon as next season...and he did cool off some as his AHL season wound down.  Just one fan's take.  I'd love to be wrong.  

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

To reach his potential (or what we hope his potential is), yeah, I do think it's going to take him some time...for one, he's still pretty damned young...he's only 20, and he started off his first pro season as a 19-year-old.  I didn't see anything that suggests that he's going to light up the NHL during his first full season there.  If he plays 65+ games, scores 15+ goals and appears to be getting more and more comfortable throughout the year in 2022-23, I'd consider that a plenty solid first step.  If he builds off that (but still needs more work), I'd be fine with his second year too.  If he's looking like a near-finished product in his third year...yeah, I'd be happy with that.  Is that so outrageous?  Guys sometimes need time.  I can find plenty of examples of players who needed 2-3 years to develop as NHLers (some even more).  

I get making too much out of what amounts to a minuscule sample, but again, I didn't see anything that had me thinking that Holtz is going to just waltz into the NHL and start rolling as soon as next season...and he did cool off some as his AHL season wound down.  Just one fan's take.  I'd love to be wrong.  

Oh well yeah players don’t generally peak until their mid to late 20’s.

I wouldn’t read too much into the cooling down bit. As was mentioned, this was his first NA pro season, he probably got worn down, and some of his help got promoted to the big club. Scorers are also streaky at times. This is why he spent this year in the AHL - to develop and learn how to deal with this exact type of adversity. His production suggests he’ll be a fast learner. Nothing to worry about.

Edited by devlman
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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, devlman said:

Oh well yeah players don’t generally peak until their mid to late 20’s.

I wouldn’t read too much into the cooling down bit. As was mentioned, this was his first NA pro season, he probably got worn down, and some of his help got promoted to the big club. Scorers are also streaky at times. This is why he spent this year in the AHL - to develop and learn how to deal with this exact type of adversity. His production suggests he’ll be a fast learner. Nothing to worry about.

He also spent this first year in the AHL because he wasn't quite ready for the NHL, which is fine...I do suspect that he'll be given every chance to make the team out of preseason this fall...I don't think the plan ever called for him to spend much time with the big club in 2021-22 unless he absolutely wowed in preseason.  It won't surprise me if he's sent back down at least once next season...like I said, if he plays well enough to get 65+ NHL games, and has made progress, I'll consider that a good starting point (hell, even 50+ wouldn't be half-bad)...I'm not expecting eye-popping numbers from him.  If he averaged about 0.5 PPG in his first full year as an NHLer, and is able to generate more and more scoring chances as he goes (even if they're not all finding the net, but you can see the promise), I'll take it.  I'm just looking for steady improvement, and for him to look like he's able to hold his own.  

I'm not making too too much out of his cooling off in the AHL last year...it's more taking his entire first pro season into account.  Yes, he did have a very good first year in the AHL, but it is only the AHL...lots of guys who put up nice numbers down there who can't do it in the NHL...it's definitely way too early to suggest that this would be the case with Holtz, and I'm not doing that...just saying that it's not crazy to think some nice AHL numbers won't necessarily translate quickly, as Holtz transitions to a much tougher league...just look at how Daws and Schmid fared in Utica, compared to here.  As much as we're all getting sick of "Be patient", I think it applies in Holtz's case.        

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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In the NHL, Holtz played 6 games in November, 1 game in January and 2 games in April.  He looked pretty much the same in all of them so I don't think him getting worn down is a reason.

I am by no means giving up on Holtz.  After seeing him play in person in the AHL, watching a few streams of him playing in the AHL and watching him in those 9 games in the NHL I am less excited about him than I was before the season started.  It wasn't until I saw him in person where I could see the entire ice in both the AHL games and the one NHL game I saw him in where his skating was just not good.  Skating is such a big part of today's NHL that it is concerning for me about his future.

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On 5/23/2022 at 10:18 AM, DevsMan84 said:

I am not comparing a player's skating in 2022 to that of one from 40 years ago.

Why not?   Nystrom went from an awful skater and the Isles hired a skating coach.  

You said you couldn't think of any so I gave you one

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