What should the Edmonton Oilers expect from Dylan Holloway this season?
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
A new season of hockey is quickly approaching, and for Edmonton Oilers forward Dylan Holloway, this is his year to step into a more significant and impactful role.
Over the summer, the organization said goodbye to Kailer Yamamoto and although there were many mixed emotions about the news, it may be good for Holloway.
Last season, Holloway joined the Oilers for the beginning of the campaign after a successful and promising preseason showcase. His performance had fans drooling over the idea of the forward wrapping his hands around the Calder Trophy later in the year. Things didn’t exactly pan out that way. He remained with the team throughout 51 games, but that Calder Trophy would be far out of reach as he scored only three goals and nine points. When Yamamoto was set to return from the long-term injured reserve in February, Holloway was sent down to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
During his first season with the team, Holloway had some excellent moments but also made some evidently rookie mistakes, the usual costly turnovers, point droughts, and some minor inconsistencies. All things considered, the shift to the AHL wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The opportunity allowed Holloway to benefit from playing more significant minutes in a more prominent role for the Condors.
After an injury during his first game back in the AHL, Holloway made a late-season comeback scoring seven goals and 10 points throughout 12 games, reassuring fans he was still a promising prospect.
Now that Yamamoto is headed for Emerald City, there is pressure on Holloway to perform at higher expectations.
Holloway’s final 17 games with the Oilers happened to be his best performances. Despite a nine-game point drought, Holloway came in clutch, scoring two goals and five points through seven games. His stats improved from a negative plus/minus rating to shooting up to a +5. Another improvement was his average ice time; as the months went by, he skated an average of nine minutes per night, which increased to a generous 11:05 minutes in the final stretch.
There’s lots to consider when projecting where Holloway would complement the team in the lineup, and one of those things happens to be Ryan McLeod, with whom Holloway played 123 minutes this past season alongside. 32 of those minutes came with Warren Foegele on the flank, and the trio outscored opponents 3-0 while controlling a 53.33 percent of the shot attempt share, 60.81 percent of the expected goal share, and 62.96 percent of the scoring chances. Holloway could make the perfect addition to a more permanent trio of players on the third line.
Back in January, Oilers Radio Network analyst Rob Brown chatted about Holloway’s style of play and possible expectations for the young star with 630 Ched‘s Reid Wilkins.
“He’s not afraid to use his speed to drive to the net. Once he starts finishing more, I can see him being a very good top six player.”
There’s no doubt that he will have another successful preseason run. Holloway has shown he is a versatile player who embraces a natural form of physicality that uses his strength and size.
He’s a great two-way forward who isn’t afraid to show a defensive side. Holloway is more than capable of doing more this season, and the third line would be an excellent place to start for the young left-wing to grow and develop and, in my opinion, take on more minutes moving into next season.
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