After some uncertainty, it looks as if Sweden is about to gain one of their top players ahead of this month's World Junior Championship.
The New Jersey Devils officially granted forward Alexander Holtz permission to join Sweden for the tournament set to kick off in two weeks, allowing the seventh overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to suit up for his third consecutive U-20 showcase.
Holtz is one of the top prospects in the Devils' system, beginning the season with the big club in New Jersey for six games, during which he notched two assists, before ultimately going down to the AHL. With the Utica Comets, the 19-year-old has racked up quite the impressive stat line thus far, sitting with six goals and four assists for 10 points in 10 games.
With Sweden among one of the top teams set to participate in this year's tournament, ensuring that a player of Holtz's caliber will be added to the roster is a major boon for the program. Holtz has enjoyed two successful World Junior appearances in years past, putting up five points in seven games in 2020, and three points in five games in 2021, earning a bronze medal for his efforts during the former.
With more NHL teams allowing their top prospects to participate this year, the 2022 World Juniors is sure to be a can't-miss event.