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Holtz


Colorado Rockies 1976

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Now that Bahl has been re-signed, the 2023-24 lineup is pretty much set.  14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies are all under contract with the big club.

Jack, Nico, Timo and Bratt are all going to be Top 6 locks (duh).  Dawson, Toffoli, Haula and Palat all figure to spend some time up there as well...some of that foursome obviously waaaay much more than others, but the point of course is that the Devils won't have much problem filling out their Top 6 in any given game, as long as they avoid several players going down at once...and of course they'll have the ability to shuffle their top lines whenever their scoring slumps and they want to change things up.  The Bottom 6 is an area Fitz clearly wanted to shore up with depth, which he did nicely...six players are slated to play on those lines for $1.4 million AAV or less each, not to mention that Haula and Palat could very well see significant time on the third line.  Foote appears to be the kid from within with an inside track to winning a Bottom 6 spot out of preseason, though there will be plenty of competition there.

Of course, the above leads to the big question:  what exactly happens with Holtz this season?  He's not coming into the season with a job to win...he's coming to a team where all of the spots have been filled or have enough guys already battling for the couple that might still be up in the air.  There's just no vacancies at the Devils' Inn at the moment.

Even though he's not entirely blameless for last season, what happened last year with the way he was handled was a travesty.  Just 39 games played between the Devils and the Comets (this number includes playoff games)...hard to imagine his development wasn't stilted to some degree.  In his last two AHL seasons, he's played in a total of 77 games and scored 33 goals to go with 37 assists.  Sure, plenty of guys can produce in the AHL and not see it ever translate to the NHL, so I'm not going to blow those numbers up too too much.  But for a guy who definitely needs work, that's not bad at all...and at 21 years old, it's still very fair to wonder exactly what his top end might be as an NHLer.  His body of NHL work is far from impressive, but it's too small to make that much out of.

I just hope the plan for Holtz is that barring something catastrophic where the Devils bring him up out of desperate necessity, that he's playing every single night for the Comets, getting as many minutes as he can handle, with both he and his coaches working as hard as is humanly possible to make up for what was largely a lost season in 2022-23.  As much as I'm sure some would like to see him make the big club either out of preseason or fairly early on...where the hell is he gonna play up here?!  The idea at this point is that his future will be as a Top 6...who currently on the Devils can he possibly topple?  As far as the Bottom 6 go, would I ever really want to see him get lost in the depth shuffle there, playing maybe 10 minutes a game, being put in a spot that would make it very difficult for him to really find consistency or success, not to mention severely limit the time needed to address his weaknesses?  His current skillset is not one suited to lower-line duty.

I think unless Toffoli either gets hurt or experiences one of those "from out of nowhere" declines, or the team in general just gets slammed with injuries, it's just really hard to see how Holtz figures in this year's plans, as far as the big club goes.  I still feel like this will be a reclamation year of sorts for him...try to leave last season as far as possible in the rearview, and address as many weaknesses as possible to make him a better all-around player...if this plan is successful, I think there's a 50-50 chance he comes into 2024-25 with a job to lose, or while his stock is up, Fitz moves him as part of a package for someone who's cost-controlled for 3-4 years at reasonable $$$, and can slot right in without being a question mark.  Not sure who that guy might be, but I definitely wouldn't rule out a deal involving Holtz if he's upped his value.

So to sum up:  please, no limited minutes in the NHL for Holtz on lines that won't help him develop.  No healthy scratches.  The kid needs to PLAY.  A LOT.  As a Top 6.  Let him do it as a Comet.  Then figure out (with the benefit of HAVING SEEN THE GUY PLAY A LOT OF HOCKEY) what kind of a future he has here.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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19 minutes ago, Aitchmack said:

Unless he comes into camp and totally earns a spot, he's got to start in the AHL. Get him playing regularly, with confidence, get him scoring points and then, when injuries happen, hopefully, he'll be ready to make an impact.

re:  the bolded, that's the thing...there's just no spot for him TO earn, and honestly I think that was almost entirely by design...specifically with the Toffoli acquisiton.  It wouldn't surprise me if Fitz has had that talk with Holtz already...with Fitz even holding himself accountable for how last year went for Holtz, and how this year is all about getting Holtz up to speed and fully ready to nail down a spot next year (there will be openings, with only eight forwards currently under contract for 2024-25).  

Think about it:  a top six of Jack, Nico, Timo, Bratt, Toffoli, and Dawson.  How is Holtz possibly cracking that group this year?  If anything it's almost like Fitz is saying "Don't even think about it kid.  Let's just worry about next season!"

BUT, if enough goes wrong, yeah, maybe he'll get a look this year.  But I honestly don't think that's Plan A.  

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I love a top six of Hughes, Bratt, Toffoli, Nico, Timo and Dawson. A third line of Haula-Palat Holtz could be interesting though. He gets European veteran protection (defensively the most) and they are good on the boards to get Holtz shots off cycles.  Maybe gets some PP2 time too. But that being said, I'm totally fine with him playing a lot in Utica. 

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I'd be perfectly happy seeing him start the season on the third line with Haula and Palat.  Two veterans who I think can do the dirty work to help Holtz shine.

What does the bottom six look like without him?

Haula/Palat/Lazar/McCleod?/Tierney/Bastian/Foote/Nosek

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Holtz is scoring 20 in the NHL this year. Playing on the third line with productive veterans like Haula and Palat will be just what he needs to play free with confidence. 15 mins a night with some PP time is perfect for him. Let home come in without all the pressure.

Edited by devlman
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45 minutes ago, devlman said:

Holtz is scoring 20 in the NHL this year. Playing on the third line with productive veterans like Haula and Palat will be just what he needs to play free with confidence. 15 mins a night with some PP time is perfect for him. Let home come in without all the pressure.

I think Holtz is scoring 30 this year.  In Utica.  But the focus won’t be on his putting up a lot of points…it will be making him a more complete player.

I do think a prediction of 20+ goals in 2024-25 at the NHL level is reasonable. Given that he did NOT look ready in his prior NHL stints, I can’t see him suddenly figuring it all out between now and the start of this season.  Said it before but 39 games total last season certainly didn’t help him on that front.

There’s already 14 forwards signed to play with the big club.  Of course not all of them figure to play every game, but I suspect it’s Foote that’s the kid with a chance to get a look (Fitz seems to be bullish on him).  That doesn’t mean he has a higher upside than Holtz…it means finding out if Foote can nail down a 3rd or 4th line spot and carve a future for himself in that kind of role here.  His time is now short…at least compared to Holtz.  The time is more now for Foote and his Devils future, than it is for Holtz (whose “the time is now” season I feel is next year).

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I think there's still a chance Holtz finds a spot on the big club this year come open night. The roster is definitely bolstered and it's really nice to see us with a ton of depth, but I believe that there's always a spot that he could earn. That's true for everyone. No job is safe, no matter who you are, or what you're getting paid. If you suck, anyone can play their way out of a job, and vice versa, if you're tearing it up, the sky is the limit.  It may just take longer for some than others. 

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19 minutes ago, NJDfan1711 said:

I think there's still a chance Holtz finds a spot on the big club this year come open night. The roster is definitely bolstered and it's really nice to see us with a ton of depth, but I believe that there's always a spot that he could earn. That's true for everyone. No job is safe, no matter who you are, or what you're getting paid. If you suck, anyone can play their way out of a job, and vice versa, if you're tearing it up, the sky is the limit.  It may just take longer for some than others. 

The thing is, if we assume the Opening Night Top 6 are already set, and that Palat, Haula, Bastian and McLeod (or one of the players signed as insurance should he face some kind of suspension) will start this season on the third and fourth lines, where does he slot in?  Fitz brought guys in who are more suited for those roles than Holtz.

Think it’s going to take injuries to speed up any timetables re:  Holtz having a real shot with the 2022-23 Devils.  I think this deliberate and patient approach with Holtz is something that Fitz & Co don’t want to deviate from unless they absolutely have no other choice.  None of Fitz’s offseason moves really scream “Let’s find a spot for Holtz to start the season.”  He could have easily chosen not to deal for an obvious stopgap vet like Toffoli, or not to use some of his remaining cap space adding so much forward depth.  Foote will also be 23 in November…he’s about 14 months older than Holtz.  It does make some sense to find out exactly what the Devils might have there…it’s Foote’s final ELC season.

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2 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I think Holtz is scoring 30 this year.  In Utica.  But the focus won’t be on his putting up a lot of points…it will be making him a more complete player.

I do think a prediction of 20+ goals in 2024-25 at the NHL level is reasonable. Given that he did NOT look ready in his prior NHL stints, I can’t see him suddenly figuring it all out between now and the start of this season.  Said it before but 39 games total last season certainly didn’t help him on that front.

There’s already 14 forwards signed to play with the big club.  Of course not all of them figure to play every game, but I suspect it’s Foote that’s the kid with a chance to get a look (Fitz seems to be bullish on him).  That doesn’t mean he has a higher upside than Holtz…it means finding out if Foote can nail down a 3rd or 4th line spot and carve a future for himself in that kind of role here.  His time is now short…at least compared to Holtz.  The time is more now for Foote and his Devils future, than it is for Holtz (whose “the time is now” season I feel is next year).

Fitz had made it clear that he wants Holtz to take a top-9 spot and prove his worth. Another year of Utica isn’t going to help him now. 15 min/gm of NHL experience with two vets will do it.

I wouldn’t call him taking the next step as out of nowhere either. We see young players take big leaps all the time. He showed well in Utica last year. I don’t think he’s going to grow there anymore.

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2 minutes ago, devlman said:

Fitz had made it clear that he wants Holtz to take a top-9 spot and prove his worth. Another year of Utica isn’t going to help him now. 15 min/gm of NHL experience with two vets will do it.

I wouldn’t call him taking the next step as out of nowhere either. We see young players take big leaps all the time. He showed well in Utica last year. I don’t think he’s going to grow there anymore.

He played all of 20 games total in Utica last season.  Offensive numbers were OK…6 G and 10 A.  Not overwhelming for the AHL.

Again, his overall game still needs a lot of work.  He has yet to look truly ready to handle day in and day out NHL competition in any of his prior call-ups (and he was even given a look to start last season).  He can’t spend more time down there trying to become a guy who brings more than a big shot (which due to general lack of speed he was unable create chances to unleash it)?  Why rush him?  At the start of next year he’ll still be 22 years old.  He’ll get his chance.  Even if it doesn’t happen for him this year for whatever the reason, there will absolutely be open slots next year.  Some of the guys Fitz brought in for 2022-23 won’t be retained.  

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3 hours ago, devlman said:

Holtz is scoring 20 in the NHL this year. Playing on the third line with productive veterans like Haula and Palat will be just what he needs to play free with confidence. 15 mins a night with some PP time is perfect for him. Let home come in without all the pressure.


I don't know about 20, but I think if he's stuck on a line with Haula and Palat all year long, it's possible. 

I think the idea is that line will be consistently driving the play forward should be scoring at about a .50 Point per Game rate. All Holtz has to do is not be an anchor that kills the line on the defensive side of the puck and that 3rd line will simply carry him along production-wise. That would be the ideal.  

Lindy is not going to let him get away with poor play "above the puck" as he likes to say. It's a big ask for a young player like Holtz, and every player does develop at a different rate. Look at Holtz and Mercer, similar age players, but very different trajectories in development.

Shar was my dark horse to score 25-30 and surprise last year, but that kind of fell flat. If Holtz makes the roster and shows up to camp in really good shape, earns a spot on that 2nd PP unit then yeah I could see him potting 20. That should be his goal for sure. If he pots 15-20 in his first full year so to speak that's not bad at all and truly something to build on.

I think that 3rd line RW spot is his to lose this year. Has to make the roster and stick the landing yet and maybe we'll see him a bit more with Hughes with the time he earns. 

 

Edited by RizzMB30
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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

The thing is, if we assume the Opening Night Top 6 are already set, and that Palat, Haula, Bastian and McLeod (or one of the players signed as insurance should he face some kind of suspension) will start this season on the third and fourth lines, where does he slot in?  Fitz brought guys in who are more suited for those roles than Holtz.

Think it’s going to take injuries to speed up any timetables re:  Holtz having a real shot with the 2022-23 Devils.  I think this deliberate and patient approach with Holtz is something that Fitz & Co don’t want to deviate from unless they absolutely have no other choice.  None of Fitz’s offseason moves really scream “Let’s find a spot for Holtz to start the season.”  He could have easily chosen not to deal for an obvious stopgap vet like Toffoli, or not to use some of his remaining cap space adding so much forward depth.  Foote will also be 23 in November…he’s about 14 months older than Holtz.  It does make some sense to find out exactly what the Devils might have there…it’s Foote’s final ELC season.


If they were so worried about Holtz having a spot, they could have ran it back with either Boquist or Tatar for another year. They didn't do that. 

If we look at our depth forwards, there's McLeod, Bastian, Nosek, Tierney, and Lazar. These are all essentially fourth liners. None should really be expected to play above the fourth line unless in a pinch/injury. 

McLeod, Nosek, and maybe Lazar are only the guys that I would slot in on the 3rd line or higher if it was needed. Nosek I would trust for a spell on the 3rd line, McLeod same thing, but not much longer than that. You have Foote on the left side, but it's his spot to lose behind Palat, but besides Holtz, Foote is the one player with real potential to possibly climb the lineup and hold a higher spot. He has so many good players ahead of him on the left side that Palat is on the 3rd line in a deep top 9. Just seems like Fitz is keeping the forwards very deep and he picked up cheap depth options. 

So if Holtz shows up in horrible shape, doesn't make the roster, I think you could see Fitz doing something to fill that spot or rolling the dice with Nosek in that 3rd line RW spot.  He could really shine next to Palat. 
 

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7 hours ago, RizzMB30 said:


If they were so worried about Holtz having a spot, they could have ran it back with either Boquist or Tatar for another year. They didn't do that. 

If we look at our depth forwards, there's McLeod, Bastian, Nosek, Tierney, and Lazar. These are all essentially fourth liners. None should really be expected to play above the fourth line unless in a pinch/injury. 

McLeod, Nosek, and maybe Lazar are only the guys that I would slot in on the 3rd line or higher if it was needed. Nosek I would trust for a spell on the 3rd line, McLeod same thing, but not much longer than that. You have Foote on the left side, but it's his spot to lose behind Palat, but besides Holtz, Foote is the one player with real potential to possibly climb the lineup and hold a higher spot. He has so many good players ahead of him on the left side that Palat is on the 3rd line in a deep top 9. Just seems like Fitz is keeping the forwards very deep and he picked up cheap depth options. 

So if Holtz shows up in horrible shape, doesn't make the roster, I think you could see Fitz doing something to fill that spot or rolling the dice with Nosek in that 3rd line RW spot.  He could really shine next to Palat. 
 

Part of the issue now is that the Devils have 14 forwards under contract.  Adding Holtz would take some finagling.

re:  Boqvist, Fitz was simply done with him…he basically signed other guys (some vets) to take his place.  And he decided to upgrade from Tatar by acquiring Toffoli.  It’s not like he purposely left a hole for Holtz to claim, but I think he’ll do that next season.  

On a side note, speaking of Tatar, surprised he hasn’t been signed yet (or even linked to anyone).  At the very least, you’d think a meh team with cap space would sign him to a one-year deal and think about flipping him for a pick at the deadline.  And he did have a pretty good year in 2022-23.

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3 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Part of the issue now is that the Devils have 14 forwards under contract.  Adding Holtz would take some finagling.

re:  Boqvist, Fitz was simply done with him…he basically signed other guys (some vets) to take his place.  And he decided to upgrade from Tatar by acquiring Toffoli.  It’s not like he purposely left a hole for Holtz to claim, but I think he’ll do that next season.  

On a side note, speaking of Tatar, surprised he hasn’t been signed yet (or even linked to anyone).  At the very least, you’d think a meh team with cap space would sign him to a one-year deal and think about flipping him for a pick at the deadline.  And he did have a pretty good year in 2022-23.


You throw Tierney in the minors to start the year, call up Foote. Leaves you with Lazar, Foote, and B. Smith as the three healthy scratches. 

https://www.capfriendly.com/depth-charts/devils

There's less flexibility once injuries happen because once you call Tierney up, he'd have to go through waivers to send him back down, but it's doable. The one issue with my argument or having Holtz up is that he is one of three players on the roster who are waiver-exempt and he's the easiest of the three to send down. L. Hughes and Schmid aren't going anywhere else. 

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36 minutes ago, RizzMB30 said:


You throw Tierney in the minors to start the year, call up Foote. Leaves you with Lazar, Foote, and B. Smith as the three healthy scratches. 

https://www.capfriendly.com/depth-charts/devils

There's less flexibility once injuries happen because once you call Tierney up, he'd have to go through waivers to send him back down, but it's doable. The one issue with my argument or having Holtz up is that he is one of three players on the roster who are waiver-exempt and he's the easiest of the three to send down. L. Hughes and Schmid aren't going anywhere else. 

Tierney hasn't played in the minors since 2015-16...he's not really one of those players who bounces back and forth the way that some guys do.  But yeah obviously two forwards are going to find themselves being scratched any given night.  I think to start the season it will be any two of Tierney, Lazar, and Nosek (of course this is subject to change pending the outcome of the investigation involving McLeod that seems to have no outcome anyone wants to announce...)

I think Foote is coming into preseason with an inside track on a spot...I don't think Fitz wants to see him scratched...I think he wants to see him play.  Foote's in the final year of his ELC (Holtz has two years left on his, making his situation less crucial).  It's like I said, it's not that Foote will necessarily ever be "better" than Holtz if Holtz can fulfill his potential (or what we think his potential is), it's more that the Devils are running out of time to find out if Foote is a guy who has any kind of future here with the big club.  In both age and contract status, his situation is a year ahead of Holtz's.  Depending on how his 2023-24 campaign turns out, he'll either be re-signed or flat-out Boqvist'd.  A lot riding on this year for Foote.

The funny thing is that I get the impression that some feel like Holtz has to be a Devil this year, but I just don't see the urgency...for one, the Devils are certainly deep enough and talented enough that they certainly don't NEED Holtz...and that's a testament to what a good position they're in.  I would LOVE to see Nemec up here, but it's the same situation...the team is well-constructed enough that no one has to be rushed.  The Devil can actually AFFORD to be patient, and not only not have it not hurt them in the present, but see that patience serve them better in the future.  

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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4 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Tierney hasn't played in the minors since 2015-16...he's not really one of those players who bounces back and forth the way that some guys do.  But yeah obviously two forwards are going to find themselves being scratched any given night.  I think to start the season it will be any two of Tierney, Lazar, and Nosek (of course this is subject to change pending the outcome of the investigation involving McLeod that seems to have no outcome anyone wants to announce...)

I think Foote is coming into preseason with an inside track on a spot...I don't think Fitz wants to see him scratched...I think he wants to see him play.  Foote's in the final year of his ELC (Holtz has two years left on his, making his situation less crucial).  It's like I said, it's not that Foote will necessarily ever be "better" than Holtz if Holtz can fulfill his potential (or what we think his potential is), it's more that the Devils are running out of time to find out if Foote is a guy who has any kind of future here with the big club.  In both age and contract status, his situation is a year ahead of Holtz's.  Depending on how his 2023-24 campaign, he'll either be re-signed or flat-out Boqvist'd.  A lot riding on this year for Foote.

The funny thing is that I get the impression that some feel like Holtz has to be a Devil this year, but I just don't see the urgency...for one, the Devils are certainly deep enough and talented enough that they certainly don't NEED Holtz...and that's a testament to what a good position they're in.  I would LOVE to see Nemec up here, but it's the same situation...the team is well-constructed enough that no one has to be rushed.  The Devil can actually AFFORD to be patient, and not only not have it not hurt them in the present, but see that patience serve them better in the future.  


100% agree regarding the patience. 


Re: McLeod, I have sources inside the NHL/Hockey Canada and they say that an announcement is IMMINENT. IT'S COMING. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Tierney hasn't played in the minors since 2015-16...he's not really one of those players who bounces back and forth the way that some guys do. 


Just a correction re: Tierney. He played 20 games for the Charlotte Checkers last season and seemingly played great. I think he could easily start the year there (If Holtz wows and wins a spot in the top 9). I don't see Nosek or Lazar starting the year in the A. He's a fringe roster player from what I'm reading into the stats. 

image.thumb.png.8aaafb2e91c10b313d717d8dff4bf5bb.png

I envision 

Palat-Haula-Holtz
Foote-McLeod-Bastian

Nosek, Lazar, Smith

Edited by RizzMB30
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3 minutes ago, RizzMB30 said:


Just a correction re: Tierney. He played 20 games for the Charlotte Checkers last season and seemingly played great. I think he could easily start the year there. I don't see Nosek or Lazar starting the year in the A. He's a fringe roster player from what I'm reading into the stats. 

image.thumb.png.8aaafb2e91c10b313d717d8dff4bf5bb.png

Ah, didn't realize that he played in the minors last season...didn't scroll down far enough.  So yeah depending on what happens he's absolutely a candidate to get sent down.

He wasn't always a fringe player (he does have almost 600 NHL games to his name), but it seems like based on his current salary and the past season, he's more or less become that now.  And I agree, I don't think Nosek or Lazar are AHL candidates.  

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I'm on the side (majority in this thread) that say that Holtz got his fair chance of being in the next lineup.

CR1976 cleary got a narrative that pretend that it's not a thing or that the lineup is locked but i'm not seeing it like that at all. Yes, at the end of training camp, some vets that Fitz bring this summer may be ahead of staff's mind and CR woud be right about this opinion. But saying that Fitz already planned this to happen is not right in my opinion. Ruff & Fitz clearly gave a " Your chance is now but you better have to take it " to Holtz at the last season ending. Yes we can talk about being patient and all that but there is a reality and more important, there is a camp in few weeks that will be so much fun to see ! Yes there is no need to rush him and all that, yes he could be there for next season ...But i will be faaaar from surprised to see him in this season lineup in a top 9 position

And talking about his AHL stats is not out of point of course but for example... A guy like Akira isn't killing the competition and "just" because he got some good match in playoff for us recently, some here are giving him the spot and doesn't "really" wanna talk about having a new goalie (i know there is a cap situation and that's totally fair but i mean... hey) Stats at a lower level is a good indicator but it's not everything. Especially when stats aren't bad at all in the first place.

Holtz with a way more experienced team and some talented mentor on the same line... Can be a force for us ! No doubt there.

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2 minutes ago, moustic said:

I'm on the side (majority in this thread) that say that Holtz got his fair chance of being in the next lineup.

CR1976 cleary got a narrative that pretend that it's not a thing or that the lineup is locked but i'm not seeing it like that at all. Yes, at the end of training camp, some vets that Fitz bring this summer may be ahead of staff's mind and CR woud be right about this opinion. But saying that Fitz already planned this to happen is not right in my opinion. Ruff & Fitz clearly gave a " Your chance is now but you better have to take it " to Holtz at the last season ending. Yes we can talk about being patient and all that but there is a reality and more important, there is a camp in few weeks that will be so much fun to see ! Yes there is no need to rush him and all that, yes he could be there for next season ...But i will be faaaar from surprised to see him in this season lineup in a top 9 position

And talking about his AHL stats is not out of point of course but for example... A guy like Akira isn't killing the competition and "just" because he got some good match in playoff for us recently, some here are giving him the spot and doesn't "really" wanna talk about having a new goalie (i know there is a cap situation and that's totally fair but i mean... hey) Stats at a lower level is a good indicator but it's not everything. Especially when stats aren't bad at all in the first place.

Holtz with a way more experienced team and some talented mentor on the same line... Can be a force for us ! No doubt there.

To be fair, my "narrative" does have some evidence to back it up (# of forwards under contract, Toffoli acquisition, etc).  

Hey if Holtz kills it in preseason (and other guys don't) and he makes a compelling case for the Devils to keep him despite the odds being against him, not like I'm ever going to be rooting against him.  I just don't see a guy who ever looked all that close to being ready whenever he was up here, and was often an anchor on any line he played with...guess I'll be surprised if it all comes together that suddenly for him that the Devils will feel comfortable sticking him in the top 9 on Opening Night.  But in a couple of months we'll start to see these questions answered.

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I don't mean no harm with my narrative sentence... My apologie if I say something hurtful. Not my intention at all.

And I know you aren't rooting against him as it would be rooting against our team... And i feel pretty easily that you have almost no faith in him (i would say for now for sure but even in a near future) and it's totally fair of you to have this opinion and view. I think you would rather have him traded for better help while i'm feeling he will be a treat next season. 

We may disagree about that but by no mean i wanna be direspectful toward your messages and views. Once again, my bad ! 

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I definitely agree with a lot of what is being said in this thread. The recent additions of Nosek and Toffoli certainly complicate the Holtz situation. It’s just going to be really tough to find a spot for him. It’s true that we have a potential spot at RW3, but who sits for him then? Unless McLeod gets suspended, I think he deserves his spot. Bastian is likely to stay in the lineup, and I think Nosek is almost guaranteed to start. So if that’s your fourth line, does it come down to Holtz vs Foote that third line spot?

Personally, I don’t think Holtz has anything to gain by playing in the AHL. His apparent regression in production is attributable to the  Comets having no decent centers (Holtz will need a good linemate to be successful, at least for now), inconsistency in getting games, and then him getting sick. So I wouldn’t put too much stock into that. I also don’t think the idea of a “bottom 6” is the same as it was a decade or two ago. Palat and Haula are capable offensive players, and any place other than the 4th line for Holtz would be good for him. 

There’s just no way Fitz would make the same mistake with Holtz’s development again so it’s got to be big club or AHL. I feel like unless he shows up to camp and looks awful in the preseason, he’s going to get his chance next to Haula and Palat. Lower threshold to send him down if he isn’t in the lineup nightly. Holtz could be really helpful on the power play. Even with Meier and Toffoli, I’m not convinced he isn’t the best sniper for the power play. The second unit could definitely use the help. 

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18 minutes ago, moustic said:

I don't mean no harm with my narrative sentence... My apologie if I say something hurtful. Not my intention at all.

And I know you aren't rooting against him as it would be rooting against our team... And i feel pretty easily that you have almost no faith in him (i would say for now for sure but even in a near future) and it's totally fair of you to have this opinion and view. I think you would rather have him traded for better help while i'm feeling he will be a treat next season. 

We may disagree about that but by no mean i wanna be direspectful toward your messages and views. Once again, my bad ! 

Didn’t take any of what you said as remotely disrespectful…not even a little.

With Holtz, I do want to be optimistic (of course no one here wants to see a Devils’ 7OA pick fail), but at best right now he’s a question mark.

I do think during 2021-22 and early on in 2022-23 that he was absolutely on an accelerated track to become a part of this thing quickly…the problem of course was once it became clear that he wasn’t quite ready, there was no real plan as to what to do next.  Well, guess there was (working with him but not having him play in actual games nearly enough), but it feels like somehow that a good chunk of whatever progress Holtz made in 2021-22 was partly undone by how he was handled in 2022-23.

I think Fitz sees his part in this enough that he’s simply very prepared to do whatever he has to to get this kid’s developmental path righted.  I just feel that based on last year, that this year it’s going to be more of a “he can still be a part of this but we need to do this right…ALL of us” approach.  

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45 minutes ago, nessus said:

I definitely agree with a lot of what is being said in this thread. The recent additions of Nosek and Toffoli certainly complicate the Holtz situation. It’s just going to be really tough to find a spot for him. It’s true that we have a potential spot at RW3, but who sits for him then? Unless McLeod gets suspended, I think he deserves his spot. Bastian is likely to stay in the lineup, and I think Nosek is almost guaranteed to start. So if that’s your fourth line, does it come down to Holtz vs Foote that third line spot?

Personally, I don’t think Holtz has anything to gain by playing in the AHL. His apparent regression in production is attributable to the  Comets having no decent centers (Holtz will need a good linemate to be successful, at least for now), inconsistency in getting games, and then him getting sick. So I wouldn’t put too much stock into that. I also don’t think the idea of a “bottom 6” is the same as it was a decade or two ago. Palat and Haula are capable offensive players, and any place other than the 4th line for Holtz would be good for him. 

There’s just no way Fitz would make the same mistake with Holtz’s development again so it’s got to be big club or AHL. I feel like unless he shows up to camp and looks awful in the preseason, he’s going to get his chance next to Haula and Palat. Lower threshold to send him down if he isn’t in the lineup nightly. Holtz could be really helpful on the power play. Even with Meier and Toffoli, I’m not convinced he isn’t the best sniper for the power play. The second unit could definitely use the help. 

Here's all I have to say to the Devils if Holtz makes the team out of preseason:  PLAY HIM

If he has a rough 4-5 games to start his season, PLAY HIM

If he has a rough 10+ games to start his season and he's simply not looking more comfortable, send him down to Utica, but PLAY HIM.

What I do NOT want to see is anything like last season.  No batches of scratches.  No lack of game action.  And please for the love of GOD no having him make the team, only to see him scratched for the very first game.

The kid needs to be PLAYING.   

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