New Jersey Devils prospect Alexander Holtz recorded his first American Hockey League goal in his third game of the season. Los Angeles Kings top prospect Quinton Byfield made his long-awaited NHL debut on Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks. Minnesota Wild prospect Adam Beckman recorded his second four-point effort of the season to lead the Spokane Chiefs to victory.
Holtz Scores First AHL Goal
The Devils signed top prospect Holtz to a three-year, entry-level contract earlier this month that kicks in ahead of the 2021-22 season. He also signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with Binghamton to finish this season in the AHL. He made his AHL debut on Apr. 24 and scored his first goal last night in his third career game. He also registered an impressive 13 shots on goal through those first three games. The Swedish sniper finished the 2020-21 season with seven goals and 11 assists in 40 games played. He had two goals and two assists in three playoff games to end the season.
THW’s Mathieu Sheridan wrote about Holtz’s potential fit in the Devils’ organization after he has drafted in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft:
The Devils make a great selection with their first of three picks on the night. They already have really solid players in Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Ty Smith, so adding a guy like Holtz will only make the team better. In Holtz, the Devils get a player who will eventually be able to play on the top power-play unit. He is able to get the puck off in a hurry and with someone like Hughes feeding him the puck, the league will soon take notice. The Devils should be really excited to be able to welcome him to the organization and fans will be mentioning his name for a long time to come.
Drafted seventh overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Holtz spent the 2019-20 season in the Swedish Hockey League, amassing nine goals and 16 points in 35 games played. He had the most points by a U18 Junior in the league and finished tenth on the team in scoring. He represented Sweden at the 2021 World Junior Championship and recorded one goal and two assists in five games played.
Byfield Makes NHL Debut For Kings
Byfield made his NHL debut last night in the LA Kings’ 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. It was an exciting game that featured several highly-touted youngsters on each team, including Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale for Anaheim. Byfield was held pointless, but recorded four shots on goals, picked up a minor penalty and finished with a minus-1 rating in 17:57 of ice time. He also won eight of 12 faceoffs in what was an impressive debut from the 18-year-old center.
THW’s Zackary Weiner broke down why Byfield was the perfect fit for the Kings’ organization after he was drafted last October:
Although the Kings don’t need another center, Byfield shouldn’t be considered a waste of a pick positionally. There is no doubt that Kopitar is going to move on from Los Angeles eventually, so the team is going to need a true number one center to take his place. Although the Kings have lots of center prospects, none have the abilities that Byfield does. In other words, the Kings have a lot of pretty good, but no one that would be able to seamlessly take over for Kopitar. Byfield could be that guy. This is really important for LA’s transition from the rebuilding Kings to the Stanley Cup playoff Kings. The team revolves around Kopitar, and he is the clear leader of the squad. The transition to being a more competitive team will go that much more smoothly with Byfield being able to take the reins.
Selected second overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Byfield spent the 2019-20 season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves, where he amassed an impressive 32 goals and 50 assists in 45 games to lead the team. He also finished fifth in the league with a 1.82 points-per-game average. He represented Canada at the 2020 and 2021 World Junior Championships, where he won a gold and silver medal, respectively.
Beckman Records Four-Point Night
Wild prospect Adam Beckman led the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans with a four-point performance, including a hat trick. It’s the second four-point effort of the season for him, and he now has points in eight of his last nine games, totaling ten goals and seven assists. On the season, he has 12 goals and 21 points in 15 games played. He leads the Chiefs in scoring and is tied for second in the league with three game-winning goals.
Drafted 75th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Beckman coming off an impressive 2019-20 season when he led the WHL in scoring with 48 goals and 107 points in 63 games played. He was named to the WHL (West) First All-Star Team and was awarded the Bobby Clarke Trophy for the most points in the league and the Four Broncos Trophy for WHL Player of the Year. He began this season with the Iowa Wild and amassed two goals and one assist in seven games played.