Nick Holden
Nick Holden
32-Year-Old DefensemanD
Vegas Golden Knights
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Holden is a bit of a mirage in Vegas; he teases a well-rounded profile for fantasy games but is prone to vanishing in the attacking zone for lengthy stretches. Such is life for a second-pairing defenseman, though it's reasonable to expect the 6-foot-4, 214-pound skater to hover around a quarter-point-per-game pace in the upcoming season. Hits and blocked shots are more of a constant for Holden, as he's tallied 218 and 145 of those, respectively, since joining the Golden Knights as a free agent in the summer of 2018. Nobody will mistake Holden for Vegas' marquee blue-line producer Shea Theodore, but he can surprise as a cash-saving punt play in select DFS settings. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $4.4 million deal with the Golden Knights in July of 2018.
Slated to play Thursday
DVegas Golden Knights
November 7, 2019
Holden (illness) is on the ice for pregames warmups Thursday, signaling that he will play against the Maple Leafs, Jesse Granger of The Athletic reports.
A report from earlier in the day indicated that Holden was unlikely to lace up the skates due to an illness, but he will actually do just that, slotting in alongside Jon Merrill on the bottom pairing. Deryk Engelland will serve as a healthy scratch with Holden good to go.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After being acquired by the Bruins from the Rangers as the NHL trade deadline approached, Holden logged a goal and five points in 18 games, while helping his new team weather back-line injuries. Overall, the 31-year-old blueliner finished up the 2017-18 regular season with four goals and 17 points in 73 games. With no real path to steady playing time in Boston, Holden moved on in free agency, inking a two-year deal with the Golden Knights worth $2.2 million annually. He'll provide depth, experience and a degree of upside on offense.
Imported from Colorado after a miserable campaign there the year before, Holden delivered a shockingly productive 2016-17 campaign, setting new career highs with 11 goals, 23 assists and a plus-13 rating. However, that goal total -- accompanied as it was by a 13.1 shooting percentage, very high for a defenseman -- is going to be hard to replicate unless Holden finds his way into increased power-play duties and starts shooting the puck more. He only put 84 shots on net in 80 games last year, after all. With the Rangers adding fellow blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk to run the point on the power play, they may not ask Holden to do much on offense in his age-30 season, but they'll surely relish his physicality and his ability to step up his game if and when other defensemen go down to injury.
The Rangers needed some fresh air on their blue line, and they got it on the cheap this offseason by sending a fourth-round pick to the Avalanche for Holden. A 10-goal scorer two years ago, Holden managed just six goals and 22 points while averaging a career-high 21:53 of ice time and playing in all 82 games last season. But he does play strong defense and dish out plenty of hits, which should endear him to Rangers fans looking for solidity on the back end. The undrafted blueliner should go undrafted in most fantasy leagues that don’t count hits and blocks, but he’s worth monitoring because of the reasonable chance that he picks up some power-play time.
Holden celebrated a successful rookie season by signing a new three-year contract worth $4.95 million with the Avs. A seemingly late bloomer, the 27-year-old put up a respectable 10 goals, 25 points and a plus-12 rating during a franchise-record 52-win season for the Avalanche. His goals and plus-minus were both second among Colorado rearguards, while his 25 points were good for fourth behind Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and the departed Andre Benoit -- albeit in just 54 games. As most players enter their prime around Holden's age, it's safe to bet on him increasing his overall production in 2014-15, especially since the soon-to-be sophomore will be afforded a nice cushion behind more potent offensive threats in Johnson and Barrie, who will be primarily counted on to carry the offensive load from the back end. With that in mind, Holden could thrive this year, making him a solid sleeper pick in deeper leagues.
Holden battled injuries last season and may have missed his window to get a look on the Columbus roster, as the club continues to add more youth and talent on the blue line. At best he's a third-pair prospect, but he could yet find a regular gig in the NHL. He saw five games with the Jackets last season, failing to register a point while grabbing nine in 25 games at AHL Springfield.
Holden has honed his craft at the AHL level the last few seasons, and is just about ready for a regular role as a stay-at-home NHL defenseman. If he doesn't break camp with Columbus, he'll be the first guy called up when injuries strike.
Depth defenseman scored 6-17-23 in 68 AHL games last season.
Depth defenseman scored 4-18-22 in 61 AHL games last season.
Minor league depth defenseman, but he does have a little upside.
More Fantasy News
Likely out Thursday
DVegas Golden Knights
November 7, 2019
Holden will likely be scratched from the lineup Thursday against Toronto due to an illness, Jesse Granger of The Athletic reports.
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Tallies late equalizer Tuesday
DVegas Golden Knights
October 22, 2019
Holden scored the game-tying goal on four shots and added three hits in Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win over the Blackhawks.
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Pots first of year on power play
DVegas Golden Knights
October 17, 2019
Holden scored a power-play goal on four shots while adding four blocks and two hits in a 3-2 shootout win over Ottawa on Thursday.
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Remains involved defensively
DVegas Golden Knights
October 17, 2019
Holden is averaging 2.3 hits per game on the young season.
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Breaks slump with two helpers
DVegas Golden Knights
March 21, 2019
Holden registered two assists, one while shorthanded, in Thursday's 5-0 win over the Jets.
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