Leading up to the NHL draft, I’ll be profiling 10 players who the Oilers could consider taking with the No. 14 pick. Today, we have Dylan Holloway.
On Thursday, Corey Pronman did an entire seven-round mock draft, projecting who would be selected with all 217 picks and offering explanations as to how he expects the first round to go down.
At No. 14, he had the Oilers selecting Dylan Holloway, a big forward who played for the University of Wisconsin Badgers last season. For context, he had Nashville selecting Yaroslav Askarov at No. 11, Florida taking Seth Jarvis at No. 12, and Carolina going with Jack Quinn at No. 13.
“I’ve heard from scouts around the league that Holloway has a decent chance to go to Edmonton but also not to rule out Prince Albert defenseman Kaiden Guhle at this slot either,” Pronman said.
So, today, I’ll profile Holloway, and then I’ll take a look at Guhle over the weekend.
Date of Birth: September 23, 2001
Position: Centre and Left Wing
Height: 6’1″ / 185 cm
Weight: 203 lbs / 92 kg
“Holloway consistently applies pressure on the backcheck, pickpockets puck-carriers, makes timely hits, wields a disruptive stick — you name it. He never flees the zone early and is a capable east-west attacker who shields the puck from opposing defenders really well.” –EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide
“After winning the AJHL’s most valuable player award a full year before his NHL draft year, Holloway was allowed to play college hockey as an 18-year-old. In fact, he was one of just two first-year draft eligibles to play Division I NCAA hockey in 2019-20.
Holloway said the decision to leave junior a year earlier was made on the basis of his physical maturity.
‘Playing at a higher level gets you better as a player. I was ready to make the jump and I’m happy that I did because this year has taught me a lot and I feel like I’m better off for it,’ Holloway said. ‘Coming from the AJHL to here, making decisions at a quicker pace is a lot different. I like to think of myself as a fast player but there’s a lot of them in this league.'” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
Holloway is a really unique player in this year’s draft class.
In 2018-19, he put together a 40-goal and 88-point season for the Okotoks Oilers, earning him a nod as the AJHL’s Most Valuable Player despite only being 17 years old. With a late-September birthday, Holloway was eligible to play his 18-year-old season in the NCAA, making him one of only two first-year draft-eligible players in the league last season.
Holloway posted modest numbers for the Badgers, scoring nine goals and 17 points over 35 games, but it was the way that he imposed himself physically playing against older players that impressed scouts. He’s got the make-up of an old-school forward, with great speed, strength, a hard shot, and smart instincts in the offensive zone.
The comparable for Holloway that I’ve seen mentioned is Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, another old-school type power-forward who seamlessly developed from the NCAA to a consistent 20-plus-goal player in the NHL. We’ve seen the Oilers opt to use big, physical players like Zack Kassian alongside Connor McDavid, so it would make plenty of sense for Holloway to be their guy at No. 14.
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