Just a few days ago, we heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs might be looking to add a few European players playing in this year’s World Championships. We’ve already known about Miro Aaltonen for some time and Calle Rosen seems to be all but a sure thing, but now according, to Aftonbladet, we can add Vaxjo defenceman Philip Holm to the list.
Tomas Ros’ piece on Holm (in Swedish) this morning focuses mostly on Holm’s journey as a player, but includes this tidbit at the end.
For Philip Holm awaits his World Championship debut, and probably the NHL after. Toronto is said to have already signed him.
|2008-09||16||Nacka HK J20||J20 Elit||28||4||6||10||30||4.7|
|2009-10||17||Nacka HK J20||J20 Elit||19||7||18||25||24||17.3|
|2010-11||18||Djurgårdens IF J20||SuperElit||41||7||10||17||43||6.8|
|2016-17||24||Växjö Lakers HC||SHL||52||4||17||21||30||19.9|
Holm is a 25-year old native of Stockholm, who just finished his sixth full season of pro hockey in Sweden. At 6’1, 196 lbs, he’s neither big or small on the North American scale, and his game doesn’t really lean to one of size either; friend of the network Uffe Bodin’s description of him in March implies that Holm has made strides in his mobility in recent years, but still lacks the level of edge that usually attracts North American scouts.
Holm’s uptick in production this year was particularly noticeable, though; he set career highs in goals, assists, and points, tripling his point total of last year with 21 in 52 games. That could also come with playing for a better team; his Lakers finished 1st overall in the regular season this year, leading the league in goals by 10 and outscoring his former Djurgardens by 55, while allowing ten fewer than them as well.
That certainly showed up in his plus/minus as well; Holm led not just his team, but the entire SHL in the statistic (+24). Rosen, who happens to be his teammate, trailed behind his point total by two (19) and his plus/minus by five (+19), but also played eleven fewer games or about 20% less of the season.
If I were a speculating person, the idea here for the Leafs might be to bring both Holm and Rosen in as a package. With both of them being longshots to make the big club full-time next year, this may incentivize them to take the chance of coming over, but potentially ending up Marlies. At least, in that case, they’ll have a familiar face to work with while trying to climb up the ranks. Plus, a pairing of Holm and Justin Holl would be one of the greatest tongue twisters in hockey.
For now, though, this is just an unconfirmed report; just like the Rosen news.