With the recent slew of injuries the Canucks incurred on their Southern road trip, you had to know they’d start leaning pretty heavily on their farm team. Today they added a little more force, recalling defenceman Philip Holm from the Utica Comets.
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) February 13, 2018
Holm, 26, has spent most of this season playing with the Utica Comets after the Canucks signed the Swede to a one-year contract last May. In 42 games with the Comets, Holm has amassed 29 points (11 goals and 18 assists), good for the lead among Utica defencemen.
This is Holm’s second call-up to the Canucks, though, he didn’t play in any games the last time. When Vancouver last saw Holm play in the pre-season, he left much to be desired. It was clear that Holm needed more time to adjust to the North American ice surface.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) November 8, 2017
By all accounts, Holm has starred in Utica. It goes beyond his point totals, though those are encouraging. Here’s CanucksArmy’s Ryan Biech on Holm from earlier this season…
All of this isn’t to say that Holm will be a game breaker for the Canucks. He is a 25-year-old who broke out in the SHL at a later age and is currently plying his trade in the AHL. But Holm has quickly put himself ahead of all the other current defenceman in Utica and depending on what happens throughout this season with injuries and trades, he could get a cup of coffee at the NHL level. If not, he likely becomes the Canucks seventh or eighth defenceman next year with Alex Biega and Patrick Wiercioch becoming unrestricted free agents.
I would caution against getting too caught up in Holm hype. As Biech points out, he’s a bit further along than your average defensive prospect. It’s possible he’s a late bloomer, but even so, I’d say at this stage that Holm becoming a third-pairing or seventh defenceman would be a victory for the Canucks who picked him up for naught but the cost of the contract.
One has to think that Holm will get some game action this time, especially with the way that Ben Hutton and Derrick Pouliot have bounced in and out of the press box. Then again, maybe not. Only time will tell.