Forward Peter Holland was recently called up from the Hartford Wolfpack after his recent stretch of good games. Can he make an impact fpr the New York Rangers?
Recently, the Rangers sent down center Boo Nieves to improve his play and get him more minutes. This left an opening for center Peter Holland, who was having quite the season in Hartford.
In 16 games, Holland scored five goals and nine assists. The 27-year-old was acquired by the Rangers from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Adam Cracknell in late November. Holland didn’t make a good impression with the Canadiens and was sent down following training camp. The trade was looked at as a low-risk move for cheap depth down the middle.
At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Holland could use his big frame to bring a physical edge and provide another net-front presence. By calling him up, the Rangers can slot him in at either center or forward and keep a guy like J.T. Miller playing on the wing.
Holland was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks 15th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. He made his debut with the Ducks in the 2011-2012 season. In scouting reports, Holland was said to have a big frame but a soft touch because of his play for the Guelph Storm in the OHL.
Holland recorded 28 goals and 39 assists for 67 points in 68 games. He was originally looked at as a scorer but has rounded out his game. As he continued to play at higher levels, he certainly didn’t reach the potential many thought he could. But his recent call-up is his second chance.
Holland’s best season was back in 2015-2016 with the Toronto Maple Leafs when he scored nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 65 games in the NHL. While he’s done nothing spectacular, he can certainly be a solid piece on the Rangers fourth line.
While he’s only played four games in a Rangers uniform as of this writing, he’s looked as advertised. He has just one assist, a shorthanded assist. Holland’s career Corsi coming into the season was a 45.7 for his career, but so far with the Rangers, his Corsi has been around 52 percent. The line of Holland, Grabner, and Fast has been quick and effective.
Before his debut, Holland talked about knowing how his linemates play and being a compliment to Grabner’s speed and the forecheck by Fast.
It looks like he’s done a good job so far. Holland also gives the Rangers an extra body on the penalty kill. He seems to already have earned the trust of coach Alain Vigneault because he’s averaging 14:16 of ice time per game.
How long will he stay in the lineup?
Center Kevin Hayes is nearing a return, and Holland’s time on Broadway may be limited. When Hayes comes back, who sits?
Journeyman winger Paul Carey has enjoyed his best NHL season to date with the Rangers. Vigneault is very hesitant to scratch David Desharnais. What would be most surprising is if he scratches Vinni Lettieri, the 22-year-old shoot-first forward who has looked impressive in his first taste of NHL action.
Holland has certain attributes that can help the Rangers, and he’s looked fairly good in his time here. There’s no doubt he could be a reliable fourth line center. However, it remains to be seen if he’ll have enough time to prove himself. If not, he would be a great spare forward in case of another injury.