Peter Holland – Admirals Centre continues to build a winning reputation
Written By: Brad Johnson
Peter Holland is a 6-foot-3, 200 pound, 21 year old centre who currently plays for the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. Holland was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. He was selected in the 1st round with the 15th overall selection. Currently under a three-year, entry-level contract signed on April 4, 2010.
Holland or “Petey” as referred to by many of his teammates has already had his share of incredible hockey highlights during his young career. On November 05, 2011 he made his NHL Debut at Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings. He would finish the game with 15 shifts for a total 11:06 in ice time. It was just a week later in a matchup against the Vancouver Canucks that he recorded his first NHL point, a game-winning goal against Roberto Luongo.
When asked about making his NHL debut and scoring the goal he answered with “I mean that’s a dream come true obviously to play your first game in the NHL is a huge milestone. It was in Detroit so it’s not too far from Toronto so I had a lot of family and friends that were able to come to the game, so it was nice that it worked out that way. To score your first NHL goal I couldn’t stop smiling for a couple days and to do it against a great goalie like Roberto Luongo, my buddies back home thought that was awesome. It was really exciting so it’s something to work towards to get back there.” Peter has a history of winning at a very young age, when he was a youth his minor Pee Wee team won the Quebec Pee Wee tournament in front of 11,000 fans. In addition, he won a gold medal for Ontario at the World under-17 Hockey Challenge.
It seems “Petey” is off to a great start trying to work his way back to the NHL. In the opening four games this season for the Admirals he has registered 2 goals and 3 assists good enough for 5 points. He scored his first goal in an Admirals sweater during the opening period of the home opener. Holland made a beautiful defensive play as he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and quickly skated alone across the blue line and from the left side snapped a wrist shot into the net blocker side. The goal would give the Admirals a 2-0 lead as they went on to win the game by a 4-2 score. When asked who he idolized growing up, he quickly responded “I was a big Joe Sakic fan when I was growing up and obviously he’s not playing anymore he’s retired and guy like Rick Nash a big guy like that I look up to and just try to model my game a little after those guys and play my game.” When asked to discuss what he feels would be needed to lockdown a centre position with. Anaheim he replied with, “Be more consistent, the word I’ve been trying to give myself is just be more assertive, do things hard all the time and you know I think if I do that my skill will come though and you know like you said hopefully I’ll have a full-time someday.”
During the 2010-2011 season Holland would make his AHL debut on April 7, 2011 just two days after finishing his OHL season, ironically, a game in which he played against the Norfolk Admirals as a member of the Syracuse Crunch. At just 20 years old and playing in his first professional game, he recorded an assist before scoring the game-winner in the third period as the Crunch went on to defeat the Admirals 5-3. There was another 20 year-old rookie making his AHL debut along side Holland, none other than current Admirals goaltender Igor Bobkov. How is this possible you ask? It’s simple really, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks changed AHL affiliations during the offseason, therefore, members of the Syracuse Crunch last season are now calling Norfolk, VA home and members of the 2012 Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals are calling Syracuse, NY home. If this young man continues to play the game as he has it will be just a matter of time before he cracks the lineup in Anaheim. Prior to this season, Holland appeared in 74 career AHL games, tallying 66 points (26g, 40a). His four NHL appearances occurred last season during his November call-up. In juniors, from 2007-2011, Holland amassed 103g, and 155a, for an impressive 258 career points for the Guelph Storm of the OHL.
I expect should the lockout end tomorrow Holland could quite possibly receive the call. Norfolk fans have a rich history of winning and incredible expectations dating back to the era of legendary coach John Brophy. With a top-line centre such as Peter Holland it’s quite evident that the 2012-2013 Norfolk Admirals should be taken seriously and will absolutely be a contender to “repeat” as Calder Cup Champions.