With Brad Richardson out long-term, the Arizona Coyotes have made a move to shore up their center depth by acquiring Peter Holland from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Think Peter Holland is going to ARIZ for a conditional draft pick— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 9, 2016
Holland was the 15th overall selection of the Anaheim Ducks back in 2009; he was traded to the Maple Leafs in November of 2013, where he has played since. Holland has one assist in eight games played this season.
The Caledon, Ontario native showed some offensive promise over the past couple of seasons as he recorded consecutive 25+ point campaigns from 2014-16. But with an influx of young talent at the center position, Holland found himself the odd-man out more often than not this year.
Holland should be a satisfactory replacement for Brad Richardson, who will likely miss the remainder of the season. Here is how their production rates compare side-by-side:
Of particular interest to Coyotes fans should be Holland’s shot suppression rates; the chart suggests that for every 60 minutes Holland plays, he prevents shots at a rate equivalent to a regular second-liner in the NHL.
For a team like the Coyotes that has been bleeding shot attempts all season, Holland should be a welcome improvement. He may not add a lot on the score-sheet, but if he can keep other teams off of it, he should be a nice pickup.
Given Holland is an arbitration-eligible RFA, and a near identical replacement for Richardson, perhaps Richardson’s injury is more serious than initially thought. Giving up an asset like a draft pick - regardless of how low - for an RFA makes little sense unless there is a long-term plan for Holland.
We will update this story once we have official confirmation of the trade, and when we learn more about what the condition on the draft pick is.
UPDATE: The Coyotes will provide the Leafs with a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2018.
Sorry, Leafs only get sixth-round pick if Coyotes re-sign or trade Peter Holland. Otherwise, they get nothing.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) December 9, 2016
This is more of a move by Toronto to clear space in their roster than anything else.