Dylan Holloway continues to thrive with the Bakersfield Condors
7 months ago
Dylan Holloway had high expectations heading into his rookie season with the Edmonton Oilers. The pressure was not coming from the team but instead the excitement from the fans, who believed he could win the Calder Trophy. That trophy is one that Holloway won’t be getting his hands on, unfortunately, after struggling to make a consistent impact in the NHL.
Holloway was sent back to Bakersfield in late February, slightly before the trade deadline. Not everybody was thrilled to see the former 14th overall pick leave the city; however, the opportunity to thrive awaited him with the Condors. If losing the NHL paycheck was not enough disappointment for Holloway, he soon got injured, putting him on the sidelines for a few weeks.
He returned to the Condors lineup on March 25th and has found his offensive game again. The talented prospect has played 12 games scoring seven goals and ten points, becoming a key figure in the Bakersfield lineup. Since that late March date, only Noah Philp has matched the production of Holloway with five goals and nine points of his own.
Bakersfield wrapped up their regular season last night with a 4-2 win over the Coachella Valley Firebirds and, like the Edmonton Oilers, are heading to the playoffs. Barring any injuries with the Oilers’ forward group, it is fair to assume that Holloway is sticking around for their postseason run. After that, there is no doubt that he will be back in Edmonton.
The hope is that he continues to score at the rate he is. What is impressive about the scoring is the variety of ways he is getting it done. With a little more time on the puck, Holloway is trusting his shot more, shooting from range and also on the powerplay from a similar position that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has thrived in this season. He is getting into the dirty areas around the net, too, tucking in a couple of rebounds. He is making himself a threat in the offensive zone in many ways.
His assist rate is not thriving like the goals. His three assists in Bakersfield so far have come on an empty net, a faceoff win and a nice drop pass. Nothing to write home about yet; however, he is still making plays on the regular. It is also important to consider that the Condors are 24th in the American League with only 212 goals. It is a lot to ask a young player like Holloway to change that part of the team in such a short time.
Of course, time spent in the NHL for any player is extremely valuable. With that said, Holloway has gone from playing less than 10 minutes a night to averaging just over 23 a night. All the ice time fans wanted Holloway to have in the NHL is now happening with Bakersfield, and we are seeing the results.
Should he be playing for Edmonton? The evidence above is proving he is in the right place for the time being. The organization is not in the business of waiting for a young player to pop into their lineup at the moment; Philip Broberg is the perfect example of that. Never say never, of course, but it seems out of the picture for now.
The door obviously is not closed for Holloway. In the future, the former first-round is going to play a huge role for the Oilers. Hopefully, it can be sooner rather than later, but for the time being, let’s continue to see what he does in Bakersfield until they are eliminated.
Recent articles from Liam Horrobin