Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

REPORT: Leafs to sign Philip Holm of SHL’s Vaxjo Lakers

Just a few days ago, we heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs might be looking to add a few European players playing in this year’s World Championships. We’ve already known about Miro Aaltonen for some time and Calle Rosen seems to be all but a sure thing, but now according, to Aftonbladet, we can add Vaxjo defenceman Philip Holm to the list.


Tomas Ros’ piece on Holm (in Swedish) this morning focuses mostly on Holm’s journey as a player, but includes this tidbit at the end.

For Philip Holm awaits his World Championship debut, and probably the NHL after. Toronto is said to have already signed him.

 2008-09 16  Nacka HK J20  J20 Elit 28 4 6 10 30 4.7
 2009-10 17  Nacka HK J20  J20 Elit 19 7 18 25 24 17.3
 2010-11 18  Djurgårdens IF J20  SuperElit 41 7 10 17 43 6.8
 2011-12 19  Djurgårdens IF  SHL 50 2 2 4 18 3.9
 2012-13 20  Djurgårdens IF  Allsvenskan 46 5 8 13 34 18.5
 2013-14 21  Djurgårdens IF  Allsvenskan 44 1 6 7 54 10.4
 2014-15 22  Djurgårdens IF  SHL 51 2 7 9 20 8.7
 2015-16 23  Djurgårdens IF  SHL 43 2 5 7 51 8
 2016-17 24  Växjö Lakers HC  SHL 52 4 17 21 30 19.9

Holm is a 25-year old native of Stockholm, who just finished his sixth full season of pro hockey in Sweden. At 6’1, 196 lbs, he’s neither big or small on the North American scale, and his game doesn’t really lean to one of size either; friend of the network Uffe Bodin’s description of him in March implies that Holm has made strides in his mobility in recent years, but still lacks the level of edge that usually attracts North American scouts.

Holm’s uptick in production this year was particularly noticeable, though; he set career highs in goals, assists, and points, tripling his point total of last year with 21 in 52 games. That could also come with playing for a better team; his Lakers finished 1st overall in the regular season this year, leading the league in goals by 10 and outscoring his former Djurgardens by 55, while allowing ten fewer than them as well.

That certainly showed up in his plus/minus as well; Holm led not just his team, but the entire SHL in the statistic (+24). Rosen, who happens to be his teammate, trailed behind his point total by two (19) and his plus/minus by five (+19), but also played eleven fewer games or about 20% less of the season.

If I were a speculating person, the idea here for the Leafs might be to bring both Holm and Rosen in as a package. With both of them being longshots to make the big club full-time next year, this may incentivize them to take the chance of coming over, but potentially ending up Marlies. At least, in that case, they’ll have a familiar face to work with while trying to climb up the ranks. Plus, a pairing of Holm and Justin Holl would be one of the greatest tongue twisters in hockey.

For now, though, this is just an unconfirmed report; just like the Rosen news.

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    • Big, big, BIG difference between the two. Wallin was a 30+ year old vet at the time of his signing. This kid is 24 and basically in line with when most lower level prospects start threatening to play in the NHL full-time. Think Andreas Johnsson (now 22 and maybe even too “good” to be a comparable) except for the fact that defensemen take longer to develop.

  • liamo

    Cost controlled 20ish year olds are always welcome. As the years go on I’d day the wing positions and bottom 3 of the defence will be constantly changing year to year to control costs to maintain the prized assets remain in the organisation long term.

  • Gary Empey

    Philip Holms shoots left….Calle Rosen also shoots left. ….Does anyone have an update on Frank Corrado? Is he free yet. Will anybody be taking food off his table this year?