TORONTO- Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Korbinian Holzer was all smiles after the Toronto Marlies 3-2 victory on Saturday’s against the Rochester Americans but, it wasn’t because his first goal of the season stood up as the game winner.
“I actually just got the call up,” said Holzer who was informed after the win that he would be joining the Leafs for their present road trip.
While scoring in front of Leafs management who were in attendance for Saturday’s game seemed fitting, it didn’t play a part in the reason why he was called up.
The 23 year old German has been the Marlies most reliable shut-down defenceman for quite some time. Head coach Dallas Eakins openly praised his improvements since joining the Toronto organization last season and this year he’s bolstering the top unit of the league’s best penalty kill. He was also recently given the “A” to wear, showing his leadership skills are another asset he brings to a very young team.
“I’m gonna try to play my best and try to keep it going,” said Holzer when referring to his continued success. “I had a great opportunity to play lots of minutes here and improve myself and now with the call up I will try and step up.”
This isn’t Holzer’s first time to be called up. In fact, he was one of 12 Marlies to see some time with the big club last season. He suited up for two games in November against the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning and averaged 13 minutes of ice time.
“I’m very happy to be back up,” he said about the second opportunity. “It’s gonna be a great experience that I’m looking forward to.”
The Leafs have played twice since bringing up Holzer and both games he was a healthy scratch. He’s currently slotted as the seventh D Man but if he’s asked to dress, he knows what he needs to do.
“I will keep it simple, play my game and try to help the team win some hockey games.”
With Mike Komisarek being sidelined up to eight weeks, Holzer will likely see some game time soon enough. Whether a bad pinch on a blue line by someone playing ahead of him is enough to get him in is uncertain, however sitting in the press box for too long has no value and wouldn’t make sense anyway.
Regardless, Holzer has done well at the AHL level and has earned another chance to play with the Leafs.
“It’s great to get another shot.”