By Kyle Cushman
The Vancouver Canucks have signed Swedish unrestricted free agent defenceman Philip Holm to a one-year entry level deal.
Vancouver Canucks Sign Defenceman Philip Holm
Holm, 25, has spent his entire career in Sweden. A product of the Djurgardens system, Holm rejoined the club in the 2010-11 season after impressing with Nacka HK J20. After another year in the J20 league, Holm made his SHL debut at 20. Djurgardens was relegated to the Allsvenskan, where Holm would play for two seasons before gaining promotion.
His career at Djurgardens came to an end when he joined the Vaxjo Lakers for the 2016-17 year. Paired with Calle Rosen, who recently signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the tandem combined to be one of the premier duos in the SHL. In easily his best offensive season, Holm recorded 21 points in 50 games, leading the entire SHL in plus/minus at +24.
His success this past campaign earned him a spot on the Swedish World Championship team, where he has played with Jonas Brodin. In seven games, Holm scored three points en route to a gold medal.
The Scouting Report
Although he had had some recent offensive success, the left hand shooting defenceman is known more for his defensive play. Prior to the 2016-17 season, Holm’s career high in points in the SHL was just nine, back in 2014-15.
Listed at 6’1″, 195 pounds, Holm is a tough player to play against. To go with his defensive skill, he is a very smooth skating defenceman. His mobility and work ethic are two strong points of his game. He is described as a strong two-way defenceman with progressing offensive skills.
With his play in his own zone, ability to move the puck, and strong skating, Holm will push to make the Canucks roster this upcoming season. With the departure of Nikita Tryamkin, defensive depth was key for Jim Benning to address. Holm is likely to battle with Ben Hutton and Luca Sbisa for minutes on the left-side.
Defensive depth is always a necessity. Holm becomes another name to throw in the bucket for the start of the 2017-18 season.