Newest Leaf Holland “will get a chance” – reference to Holland and Blacker’s summer training with Powerhouse Hockey

Article By Ian Shantz, Toronto Sun, Saturday, November 16, 2013

TORONTO – The Maple Leafs drafted Nazem Kadri seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Another centreman chosen in that draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal was Peter Holland, plucked by the Anaheim Ducks with the 15th overall selection.

Today, Holland, a left-handed shot with soft hands — just like Kadri — is a member of the Maple Leafs.

Maybe, at least in small part, because of Kadri.

Facing a crisis-like shortage at centre these days — Kadri is serving a suspension and fellow centres Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland are injured — the Maple Leafs on Saturday swung a deal to acquire Holland, a 22-year-old from nearby Caledon.

Packaged to Anaheim were defenceman and Toronto native Jesse Blacker, along with a third-round pick in 2014, which could become a second-round pick if certain conditions are met, and Anaheim’s seventh-round selection originally acquired in the David Steckel trade.

Toronto also received journeymen forward Brad Staubitz, who has reported to the Marlies.

Holland immediately was brought up by the big club, flying in on Saturday afternoon in time to make his debut against the visiting Sabres on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Holland had nine points and 22 penalty minutes in 10 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season. The former Guelph Storm star entered last night with five goals, two assists and eight penalty minutes in 29 career NHL games — and seemingly will be given every opportunity to build on those credentials.

“He’s going to get a chance,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said following his team’s optional morning skate. “The centre ice position for us, obviously, has been decimated with injuries.

“He’s been able to provide offence at the junior league and American Hockey League level and he’s going to get an opportunity here.”

Holland put up big numbers in junior, scoring more than 25 goals in three of his four seasons in Guelph, but his game has at times been criticized as not being well-rounded enough.

“He probably has developed into more of a combative individual and that has allowed him to take the next step as far as being a damn good American league player,” Carlyle said. “Now, he’s looking to take the next step to being an NHL player.”

Blacker, a former junior opponent of Holland’s and buddy from their summer training at GTA-based Powerhouse Performance Hockey, was selected 58th overall by the Maple Leafs in 2009. He played in five games with the Marlies this season, scoring once, but may have become expendable with the emergence of young blueliners such as Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner, not to mention the healthy stable of promising prospects in the system.

Staubitz, 29, has 230 NHL games under his belt, having previously played for San Jose, Minnesota, Montreal and Anaheim.

To make room for Holland, the Leafs sent forward Troy Bodie down to the Marlies.

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