Alex Holtz and Lucas Raymond are two of the highest prospects to look at for the 2020 draft. Internationally, they have been electrical whereas taking part in with New York second-rounder Karl Henriksson as their heart.Alexander Holtz|Kenta Jonsson/BildbyranPLYMOUTH, MICH. – The World Junior Summer season Showcase is a great spot for nationwide groups and NHL franchises to judge expertise in an elite setting. This 12 months’s tourney additionally occurs to be rife with top-end expertise for the 2020 draft, with doubtlessly 4 of the highest 5 picks in attendance. Canada is represented by left winger Alexis Lafreniere, the early fave to go first general. Finland has sturdy, two-way heart Anton Lundell and he has already gained a gold medal on the world juniors. Sweden, within the meantime, boasts a pair of aces in wingers Alex Holtz and Lucas Raymond. From right here on out, let’s simply name them the Terror Twins.
Holtz and Raymond have each made early SHL debuts with Djurgarden and Frolunda, respectively. They had been integral to Sweden’s gold medal on the world under-18s this previous spring and it was a particular one: not solely was the match in Sweden, however the Tre Kronor had by no means gained it earlier than.
“It was wonderful to do it in entrance of household,” Raymond mentioned. “It was an enormous match and particularly with the group we had, it was actually enjoyable.”
Raymond actually got here by within the clutch when gold was on the road, netting a hat trick – together with the additional time winner – in a dramatic Four-Three victory over Russia. However the Terror Twins didn’t do it alone. Their heart was Karl Henriksson, who was drafted 58th general by the New York Rangers this summer time. Henriksson truly led the workforce in scoring with 9 factors in seven video games, with Holtz behind him at eight and Raymond with seven after that.
To date on the WJSS, Sweden has used each Henriksson and Montreal Canadiens prospect Jacob Olofsson in the course of the road, however it’s exhausting to not see Henriksson in that function come December.
The trio brings to thoughts one other profitable combo from the latest previous, albeit a Finnish one. In 2016, Carolina Hurricanes heart Sebastian Aho was the defensive conscience on a dynamite line with draft-eligible wolfhounds Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. The Finns gained a surprising gold largely to that trio, although Aho had barely performed heart earlier than.
Henriksson alternatively is well-versed down the center and that’s a fantastic benefit for the Swedes.
“It’s unbelievable to play with Karl, he’s such a sensible heart,” Holtz mentioned. “Nice hockey sense, nice skater and he can shoot the puck additionally, so it’s incredible to play with him.”
And the adulation goes each methods.
“They’re extremely expert, it’s simple to play with them,” Henriksson mentioned. “They assume hockey very effectively however they’re not the identical gamers: Holtz is extra of a sniper and Lucas is extra of a playmaker so it’s actually good.”
And that’s the humorous half about that under-18 gold medal recreation; often it’s Holtz doing the ending, not Raymond. However being unpredictable and unstoppable is kinda the secret with the Terror Twins and whereas taking part in again residence in Sweden will protect them from a substantial quantity of North American hype of their draft 12 months (particularly with the world juniors happening within the Czech Republic), Sweden coach Tomas Monten famous that the nationwide squad has supplied each Holtz and Raymond particular assist by way of coping with additional consideration.
It’s an excellent technique as a result of each gamers may go as excessive as second general, relying on how the season shakes out. Raymond averaged almost an help per recreation with Frolunda’s under-20 workforce this previous season whereas additionally making his SHL debut, entering into 10 video games with the Indians. Holtz potted 30 targets in 38 video games with Djurgarden’s junior workforce and likewise noticed his first SHL motion with the massive squad. Evidently, extra SHL time beckons for the pair subsequent season.
“It’s big to play in opposition to males due to the velocity and the construction, in comparison with junior,” Raymond mentioned. “You mature loads as a participant and it helps loads.”
Henriksson performs for a similar Frolunda group as Raymond and he’ll proceed to develop his recreation there. New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is clearly a fan.
“He’s a 200-foot participant, actual cerebral with and with out the puck,” Gorton mentioned. “And he does all of the soiled work. For a man who’s not huge in stature (Henriksson is 5-foot-9, 175 kilos), he performs an even bigger recreation. He hunts pucks, he wins battles and he could make performs. He does all of the little issues that can assist you win – faceoffs, kill penalties. Once you add all of it up, it was most interesting for us.”
If he continues to play internationally with Holtz and Raymond, the New York choose might be in line for some extra gold, this time on the world juniors. And he definitely doesn’t thoughts being the Sebastian Aho on the road.
“That’s my recreation,” Henriksson mentioned. “After I play with Lucas and Alex, they’re so good with the puck within the offensive zone that if I can do them higher by doing exhausting work everywhere in the ice then that’s good for us.”
Tags: draft, worldwide hockey, ny rangers, prospectsConnect: In regards to the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all known as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and youngsters the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.