Name: Bill Houlder
Born: 3/11/67 in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Drafted: 4th Round (82nd overall) in 1985 by the Capitals
The Finesse Game
Houlder has a big shot, but otherwise his overall skills are average. Although he struggles as a skater, especially in his turns, he has a decent first step to the puck and is strong on his skates. Houlder makes smart options with his passes. He does not like to carry the puck. He's a stay-at-home type who is aware he is limited by his range; he will make a pass to a teammate or chip the puck out along the wall rather than try to carry it past a checker. Houlder's offensive input is minimal (he can get five to 10 goals a year) and is mostly limited to point shots, though he will get brave once in awhile and gamble to the top of the circle. Most of his goals come from 60 feet out with some traffic in front. He can play on the second unit on the power play and penalty killing, but is best in five-on-five situations.
The Physical Game
Houlder is a gentle giant. There is always the expectation with bigger players that they will make monster hits, but we have the feeling that a lot of them were big as youngsters and were told by their parents not to go around picking on smaller kids. Houlder is definitely among the big guys who don't hit to hurt. If he did get involved he would be a dominating defenseman, but that's not about to happen at this stage of his career. He will take out his man with quiet efficiency. He has to angle the attacker to the boards because of his lack of agility. He is vulnerable to outside speed when he doesn't close off the lane.
Houlder rates as a reliable fifth or sixth defenseman. He doesn't have much upside.
Houlder will provide solid defense and 25 to 30 points.
SOURCE: HOCKEY SCOUTING REPORT