Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau talks about playing Holzer, returning Theodore to San Diego

The Ducks could have played defenseman Shea Theodore in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild and scratched Korbinian Holzer. Theodore, 20, could have made his NHL debut, but instead Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau played Holzer for the first time since a March 2 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ducks then sent Theodore back to San Diego of the AHL on Monday and Holzer joined the team for its five-game trip that begins Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

“He was fine,” Boudreau said of Holzer’s play. “You’ve got to believe that a young man is a little nervous when he hasn’t played an NHL game for the team yet and he got here in March, so …. But in the third period, I thought he showed his true worth. … He’s a big, strong man. We can always use that.”

Of his thoughts on finally inserting Holzer into the lineup, Boudreau said, “If you’ve got any feelings … I mean, we’re not robots out there … I mean, I would have loved to have seen him play (last season). He came in with the best attitude. Every day, just worked hard. You want to reward guys like that. So, I was very happy that he was able to play and be a contributor.”

Asked about Theodore’s future in San Diego and also in Anaheim, Boudreau said, “Young guys need to play, and when they’re confident and they feel better, that’s when they get the call. You don’t want to thrust somebody into something he’s not ready for, because then it only goes downhill. Shea’s gotten better every year I’ve seen him, better in training camp, and he’s starting to fill into his body. I think there’s going to be a time when he’s going to be playing in this team.”