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NHL Notebook: Temper expectations on Holloway, Leafs re-sign Sandin and more

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
Dylan Holloway is the talk of the town in Edmonton, and rightly so.
He’s burst onto the scene ahead of training camp here looking to grab a spot on the Oilers roster. The team, after all, could really use his entry-level contract when it comes to making the salary cap work.
But it’s time we all take a deep breath and temper expectations.
Holloway has played in two preseason games so far this year. He drew in for the first game against Winnipeg where he scored a goal, then last night again against a stacked Calgary Flames club. He drew tough matchups against the Flames’ top-six and, well… struggled.
At 5×5 with Holloway on the ice last night, the Oilers controlled 17.86 percent of the shot attempts, controlled 9.30 percent of the expected goals, were outscored 2-0, and out-chanced 1-10. Not great!
Now, there are a few things to note. It’s preseason, and it was as much of a scheduled loss as can be. It was a tough game for anyone on the ice.
When Oilers practice kicked up on Thursday, Holloway was taking reps on a defacto fifth-line alongside Brad Malone and Jake Virtanen. Twitter, well… Twitter wasn’t enthused. It makes sense.
In one sense, it makes sense. Everyone wants to see Holloway playing with other skilled players and get a legitimate shot in camp. I think he’s getting that, even where he’s listed on for practice today.
We all have to remember this: nothing is going to be handed over to Dylan Holloway. He has to seize the moment. He has to show Jay Woodcroft and the coaching staff why he belongs in Edmonton. At the end of the day, even if Holloway were to be assigned to the Bakersfield Condors, he’s going to get NHL minutes at some point this season.
Maybe the best move is to take things a little bit slow.

Leafs ink Sandin

The Toronto Maple Leafs have come to terms with their final restricted free agent signing Rasmus Sandin to a two-year deal paying him an AAV of $1.4-million.
According to DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Leafs made it clear to Sandin’s camp they wouldn’t be going above the $1.4-million AAV paid to Timothy Liljegren in negotiations.
Sandin, 22, appeared in 51 games last year with the Leafs scoring five goals and 16 points.

Zegras shaken up after big hit

Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras was injured Wednesday night in a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes.
During the second period, Zegras skated after a loose puck in the neutral zone only to be hit hard by ‘Yotes prospect Jan Jenik.
Zegras hit the ice and a melee ensued as Ducks forward Adam Henrique dropped the mitts with Jenik.
It was later announced that Zegras wouldn’t return to the game with an upper-body injury. No update has been made available as of the time of writing.

Strome impressing in Washington

Dylan Strome has been off to a hot start with the Washington Capitals. The former 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft inked a one-year, $3.5-million deal with the Caps this offseason.
Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, Strome scored two goals and earned the praise of head coach Peter Laviolette.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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