Player Name/position: Peter Holland, Center (Centre for our Canadian readers)
Overall Grade: D
Contract Status: Has one more year left on his entry-level deal worth $1.295M before he becomes a RFA.
2013 Stats: 21 GP (really?!), 3-2=5, plus-4. He took the fifth most face-offs this season with 89 wins and 114 losses (43.8% success rate). To somewhat put it in perspective, sixth most face-off attempts - Teemu Selanne. Teemu, not a center, had 85 wins and 83 losses, 50.6% success rate.
Playoff Stats: Nada. He was up with the Ducks but didn't touch the ice.
Offense: Holland appears to be showing what he can do offensively in the AHL, creeping toward point per game pace (0.87), but we've yet to see it on the grand stage of the NHL. He had opportunities to prove his worth as the center position wasn't exactly the Ducks' strongest going into the season and when Nick Bonino went down for 21 games with a hamstring injury, but still was never able to establish himself in the eyes of the coaching staff.
Defense: There is some defensive responsibility that comes along with being a center, but for Holland it is really secondary. He didn't play on the penalty kill (38 seconds total with the Ducks) he started more often than not in the offensive zone (54.3% per Behindthenet.ca), plus-4 in the NHL doesn't tell you a whole lot, but minus-18 with Norfolk is not exactly a good sign. Let's say he met expectations, but the bar wasn't particularly high.
Highlight of the Season: The first thing that pops into mind was his breakaway goal against Columbus, even though it was thisclose to being offside and the most impressive part of the goal was Ben Lovejoy breaking up the Blue Jacket attack. But that is somewhat fitting as he wasn't really the catalyst for any of his three NHL goals this year but was in the right place at the right time on all of them.
Expectations for Next Year: When evaluating Peter Holland, the best question to ask is: How long are the Ducks going to put up with the first round pick (15th overall) and his inability to make a lasting impact in the NHL?
Nick Bonino's play late in the season and through the playoffs was probably the worst thing that could have happened to Holland in terms of securing a roster spot for next season. Depending on what happens with Saku Koivu and David Steckel, he could be relegated to the a minor league role to close out his entry level contract. If so, expect him to sign a short term/low dollar contract next summer as a RFA with something to prove.
Best case scenario, he pulls a Kyle Palmieri and shows that he can translate AHL success to the highest level. And the Ducks will be looking for young players to do just that in the coming years as the Perry and Getzlaf contracts kick in.