Peter Holland made his debut for the Leafs last night, playing 12 even strength minutes next to JvR and Kessel. Obviously it was nothing to read too far into, but Holland was strong in the circle (he was only 38% over 4 games in Anaheim, but went 7 for 11 last night), had one good chance in the slot, and showed a smooth skating ability for a big guy.

Said Randy Carlyle: “I thought he did OK, it’s hard when a young guy comes in. It’s not like we hid him in the lineup.. That’s what we believe; if you acquire young players, it wouldn’t be right to put him in a non-offensive situation, so that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

What follows is a list of forwards drafted in the first round between 2004 and 2010, with an 80-game minimum cut off for AHL games played (playoff games were included). At risk of stating the obvious, elite offensive players typically bypass the AHL altogether or play less than 80 games in the AHL before graduating to the NHL full time (Bobby Ryan being a rare exception).

Rank (AHL PPG)ForwardDraft - OverallAHL GamesAHL PointsAHL PPGNHL PPG
1Bobby Ryan2005 - 2nd1051071.020.92
2Kyle Palmieri2009 - 26th1501360.910.39
3Nazem Kadri2009 - 7th1301170.900.66
4Peter Holland2009 - 15th1291140.880.24
5Jiri Tlusty2006 - 13th1601360.850.40
6Max Pacioretty2007 - 22nd87730.840.61
7Kyle Turris2007 - 3rd86710.830.48
8Zach Boychuk2008 - 14th2702190.810.24
9Rob Schremp2004 - 25th2171730.800.47
10Mikkel Boedkker2008 - 8th100720.720.39
11Brett Connolly2010 - 6th94650.690.21
12Nino Niederreiter2010 - 5th80540.680.17
13Cody Hodgson2008 - 10th82540.660.58
13Michael Grabner2006 - 14th2121400.660.52
13Jack Skille2005 - 7th2141420.660.27
16Joe Colborne2008 - 16th1691060.630.29
16Gilbert Brule2005 - 6th102640.630.32
18Nicklas Bergfors2005 - 23rd2571500.580.48
19Chris Stewart2006 - 18th103580.560.62
20Lauri Korpikoski2004 - 19th179990.550.34
20Mark Zagrapan2005 - 13th2381310.550
22Jordan Caron2009 - 25th125680.540.27
23Mattias Tedenby2008 - 24th84440.520.26
24Trevor Lewis2006 - 17th2041010.490.17
25Carter Ashton2009 - 29th146650.450.04
25Chris Chuko2004 - 24th2831270.450
27Kyle Beach2008 - 11th170750.440
27Jim O’Brien2007 - 29th221970.440.19
29Greg Nemisz2008 - 25th202840.420.07
30Kyle Chipchurra2004 - 18th214900.420.22
31Colton Gilles2007 - 16th183690.380.12
31Kendal McArdle2005 - 20th215810.380.07
33Angelo Esposito2007 - 20th124380.310
34Ryan O’Marra2005 - 15th299890.300.21

To keep it short and easy for your Sunday morning: while Holland has been slower to emerge than some of the top players on this list, he has the AHL numbers to suggest he could be an above-average-to-good NHL point producer down the road. His NHL point-per-game rate so far ranks him pretty low, but that doesn’t mean much given he’s only played 29 games.

In the short term, we will have to see if Holland sticks with the big club, and if he does where he will fit once Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri return (which for Kadri will be Thursday vs. the Predators; Bozak is eligible to return for that game as well, but it will depend on if he’s ready).


Holland after last night’s game: