2005-06: In his second season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Riley Holzapfel scored 19 goals with 38 assists and accumulated 46 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games. In 22 playoff games, he had 7 goals and 9 assists and was a plus/minus of +12.
2006-07: Holzapfel broke out in his third WHL season, especially in the goal-scoring department. He had 39 goals (fourth in the WHL) and 82 points (eighth). Holzapfel also displayed much more combativeness – his 94 PIM in 64 games was more than double his total of 2005-06.
2007-08: Suffered a concussion and had a rough final year of junior hockey. Named to Team Canada in the WJC and played on the fourth line but had no points in seven games. With Moose Jaw, he finished with 18 goals and 23 assists in 49 regular season games and added 3 goals and 5 assists in six playoff games.
2008-09: Scored 13 goals with 19 assists in 73 games for Chicago in his first AHL season for a Wolves team that missed making the playoffs. His two-way play and determination made a positive impression.
2009-10: With several veterans providing the offense for the much-improved Western Conference champion Wolves, Holzapfel fell into more of a checking line role in his second year in the AHL. While his offensive numbers lagged as a result – 7 goals and 23 assists in 60 games – he was able to contribute with his competitiveness and hard work.
2010-11: Completing his third year as a pro, Holzapfel continued his transformation into a checking line center and earned a regular shift on the third line with the Chicago Wolves. His 12 goals and 27 points in 68 games represent a consistent offensive output and the smooth-skating centerman applied himself to the task of shadowing the opposition’s top centers.
2011-12: Riley Holzapfel spent his fourth pro season in the AHL – opening the year with Winnipeg affiliate St. John's and finishing they year with Syracuse after being acquired by Anaheim in a trade for Maxime Macenauer in February 2012. In 57 AHL games between the two teams he scored 16 goals with 21 assists and was plus-11 with 42 penalty minutes. Syracuse faced St. John's in a first round playoff after finishing fourth in the East Division. Holzapfel had 1 assist and was minus-four with 4 penalty minutes in the series against his former club. Holzapfel was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Ducks in June and signed a one-year contract with the Penguins as an unrestricted free agent in July, 2012.
Holzapfel is a good skater with good hockey sense who puts himself in position to score. Size is an issue, particularly when it comes to competing with the larger defensemen at the NHL level, but he is skilled and works hard. The question is whether he has enough offensive talent to remain on a scoring line in the NHL.
Holzapfel signed with the Penguins in the summer of 2012.