I’ve been focused on the play of certain young Maple Leafs (Kulemin, Gunnarsson, Gustavsson and Hanson) at the ongoing World Championships because I’m hoping they are part of the team’s future.
Hanson’s work is done with Team USA, as they are long out of the event, and Francois Beauchemin’s tenure with Team Canada ended with the quarter-final loss to Russia.
Interestingly, the Toronto Star reported on Friday that the Leafs will be signing a young defense product from the German national team. Korbinian Holzer was a late pick of the Leafs back in 2006, and I’m guessing he has flown under the radar of most Maple Leaf fans.
But the Star story suggests Brian Burke is high on Holzer, who will evidently sign after the tournament ends and play for the Marlies in the fall.
NHL fans will recognize the names of fellow German defensemen Christian Erhoff and Sven Butenschon (along with forward Marcel Goc) but the Holzer announcement was a surprise to me.
Plus/minus stats in isolation don’t mean much, but for what it’s worth Holzer is a +1 in 7 games in the tournament to this point, with no points.
Leaf fans can get a close-up look at a possible future Leaf blueliner when the Germans meet the strong Russian side in the semis on Saturday. Toronto Maple Leafs hockey Blo