Leafs Add a Big Man to Their Blue Line

Philly and Chicago are getting ready to lace up their skates
and do battle for this year’s Stanley Cup. But the Toronto Maple Leafs’ players, coaches, management and fans are focusing more
on their team’s chances next season.

Brian Burke hopefully took a giant leap forward for the
Leafs’ future Thursday afternoon by signing 22 year-old German prospect
Korbinian Holzer to a two-year entry level contract. The 6’4” 205 pound defenseman was originally drafted by the
Blue and White in the fourth round of the 2006 draft. He was the 111th
choice overall.

Since then, Holzer has been developing and progressing in the
German Elite League. Holzer played in 34 games for EC Bad Tolz in the Deutsche
Nachwuchsliga in 2004-05. He recorded 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) from
the blue line with 66 penalty minutes. He helped the club make the playoffs and
in five games he recorded two assists.

Holzer proceeded to represent Germany at the U-18 World
Junior Championships where in six games, he notched two goals, one assist, with
only four penalty minutes.

In the season before he was drafted by the Leafs, Holzer played for the EC Bad Tolz club at three different
levels. At the Deutsche Nachwuchsliga level, he played three games, recording a
goal and an assist. At the second level, he played with Bundesliga
Abstiegsrunde. He played in 10 games, scoring one goal and serving 14 minutes
in the box.

Holzer again represented Germany at the U-18 World Junior
Championships. In six games, he recorded three points (one goal, two assists)
and 18 penalty minutes.

In 2007-08, Holzer played his first season with DEG Metro
Stars, in the German Elite League. The season proved to be a learning
experience for the defenseman. He recorded seven points in 35 regular season
games with the club, and added another two helpers in 13 playoff games with the
team from Dusseldorf.

He represented Germany at this year’s Vancouver Winter
Olympic games and skated for his country at the IIHF World Hockey
Championships. He helped the Germans reach the Semis, where they lost 3-1 to

Look for this big defenseman to play the 2010-11 season with
the AHL Marlies, so he can adjust to the North American style of play. When he
does lace them up with the Leafs he promises to be a commanding force on the
blue line.

While Holzer towers over most of his opponents, he needs to
bulk up his wiry frame. That being said, he’ll have plenty of time to pack on
the pounds during the next summer months.



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