Peter Holland is set to enter his second season as a Toronto Maple Leaf in 2014-15. The 23-year-old centre was drafted in 15th overall in 2009 by the Anaheim Ducks. Holland struggled to find a place in Anaheim, playing only 29 NHL games before a trade sent him to Toronto in November 2013.
Holland went on to play 39 games for the Leafs in the remainder of the 2013-14 season, posting 5 goals and 5 assists while averaging 11:34 minutes of time on ice. He also played 14 games for the Toronto Marlies, again totalling 5 goals and 5 assists. Holland was the Marlies’ top scorer during their Calder Cup playoff run, putting up 15 points (7G/8A) in 11 post-season games.
Holland’s role in Toronto is unclear as training camp looms, with the Leafs having significantly upgraded their depth down the middle during free agency. Centres Leo Komarov, Mike Santorelli, and Petri Kontiola will provide Holland with stiff competition for minutes in the Leafs’ bottom 6.
Holland’s waiver status could become a source of discussion come training camp. Holland, according to the CapGeek waiver calculator, is no longer exempt from waiver eligibility as he enters his 4th season of NHL service, meaning that the Leafs would risk losing him for nothing if they send him down to the AHL. Following a similar situation during training camp last season, the Leafs traded Joe Colborne to the Calgary Flames rather than lose him to waivers when he failed to make the team’s NHL roster.
I think Holland and Winnik could rotate well in Toronto’s #4LW spot, with Winnik providing a more defensively-oriented presence and Holland the more offensive option. It’s not ideal to play a 23-year-old offensive player on the 4th line, but given Holland’s waiver eligibility and Toronto’s intention on playing a more dynamic bottom 6 than in years past, he could work well in a 8-13 minute per night role while also providing insurance in case of an injury above him in the lineup.
Where is Holland’s place in the Toronto lineup?
Is Holland’s waiver status something to worry about?