Boston Junior Bruins forward Michael Holland has been leaning on the “play” button during the world’s coronavirus pause. After all, it may only be the end of April, but the college hockey season will be here before you know it, and Holland wants to be at his best when he shows up at Miami University in Ohio later this summer.
“I’ve been running a lot, keeping my cardio in shape, and I built some homemade hockey tools,” said the ‘99 out of Charlotte, N.C. “I made a stickhandling board, and my brother and I created a hockey net out of a chain link fence and chicken wire. All this work will be necessary at the college level."
Holland spoke about his first impressions with the Redhawks and their staff.
“I liked the coaches at Miami. They’re trying to shift the culture to what they want it to be,” said Holland. “It was their first season last year and they set their standard of excellence day in and day out on and off the ice. I was looking to play somewhere that school and hockey both mattered.”
This past season, Holland moved on from four years at Deerfield Academy to the Junior Bruins and put together a fantastic performance despite a collarbone injury cutting into the start of his season. He posted a 9-11-20 line in 39 games.
“I am very happy for Michael and his family,” added Junior Bruins Head Coach Mike Anderson. “Michael had some really positive momentum coming into the start of the season and unfortunately injured his shoulder late in the summer and wasn’t available for us until mid-November. Given that he was in his age-out year it put a lot of pressure on Mike to try and carve out a point producing role for himself on a team that was having a lot of success up front already.”
“I called Coach Anderson the day [I broke my collarbone], and he was very supportive. He told me I should still come to main camp, and I learned to watch the game,” said Anderson. “When I got into playing, Coach Anderson and Coach [John] Butler helped me every single day to help me realize it would be a process getting back into it. My poise with the puck improved the most, being patient and making plays at a higher speed than before, just advancing every step faster and being able to compete at a junior pace.”
Anderson was grateful for Holland’s efforts on the ice and his mature character off the ice.
“He did a terrific job contributing to our team and finding different ways to make an impact in our lineup. In talking with the staff at Miami, I think those characteristics are what attracted them to Michael as well,” Anderson added. “He is a high character person, works very hard at wanting to get better and do things the right way, has fought through some adversity, and possesses the size, speed and physicality to play a meaningful role in their lineup.”
Holland’s family advisor was a former Miami player, and helped Holland network with the Miami staff.
“Towards the end of the year, I was talking to some schools, so he called me and asked me if I thought Miami might be in the mix,” added Holland. “I talked to the coaches and took an official visit on the campus with the freshmen and loved it.”
He applied to the Farmer School of Business at Miami and was accepted, making him excited to study business or economics.
“The Farmer School of Business is a highly-rated business school. My parents both graduated from business school, and I talked to them and a few people in the front office at the Farmer School of Business, and I thought that was the best choice for me.”
“I’m very excited that Michael Holland has this opportunity,” Anderson added, “and I know that he will represent himself, his family, the Junior Bruins and the USPHL community in a very positive way.”
The USPHL congratulates Michael Holland, his family, the Boston Junior Bruins and Miami University for his commitment.