Dylan Holloway will play all season with the Edmonton Oilers. He’s NHL ready.
I don’t expect him to produce as often as he did in the preseason. You’d be foolish to expect him to score four goals every five games. He doesn’t need to be close to that to be a productive top-nine forward.
If Holloway can score 17 goals, that would be solid production. Last season we saw 169 forwards score 17+ goals in the NHL. That is an average of 5.28 per team. It is legit top-nine production, and in fact, it is top-six goal scoring production. Of those 169 forwards, 132 of them skated in 70+ games. Only 43 of them played 80-82 games, so getting banged up and missing some games is normal.
The Oilers had five forwards score 17+ goals last year. Leon Draisaitl (55), Connor Mcdavid (44), Zach Hyman (27), Evander Kane (22), and Kailer Yamamoto (20). Jesse Puljujarvi had 14, Warren Foegele 12, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11 and Derek Ryan had 10 to round out the nine top goal-scoring forwards. To crack the top nine in goal scoring among forwards in Edmonton won’t be that difficult for Holloway.
Advertisement
Ad
He will be an Oiler all year. Claiming “I need to see more,” or “this was just preseason,” is being overly cautious. Holloway showed he has the skill, speed, smarts, and hockey sense to play in the NHL. He will make some rookie mistakes, all rookies do, but he has NHL skill now and will show it.
Holloway turned 21 last month. He isn’t a teenager trying to crack an NHL roster, and 17 goals is a very realistic number. Let me show you why.
Holloway was drafted 14th overall in 2020. Anton Lundell was taken 12th, Seth Jarvis 13th and Dawson Mercer was taken 18th. Those three played in the NHL last year. The other picks between Holloway and Mercer were Rodian Amirov, who has battled Cancer since being drafted 15th, Kaiden Guhle, a defenceman went 16th, and Lukas Reichel went 17th. He played 11 games with Chicago late last season.
Advertisement
Ad
Lundell and Mercer, like Holloway, have late birthdays and were 20 years old last season. Jarvis was 19. Here are their numbers.
Anton Lundell
Lundell scored 18-26-44 in 65 games for the Florida Panthers.
He was 8th amongst Panther forwards in total TOI (15:40/game) and 8th in points.
He was 8th in 5×5 TOI (12:10/game) and 8th in points with 13-17-30.
He was 11th in PP TOI with 45 min and 8th in points with 1-3-4.
He was 1st in PK TOI and 3rd in PK points with 1-3-4.
He played 791 minutes at 5×5 in 65 games.
His most common linemates were Sam Reinhart (392 min), Mason Marchment (296), Frank Vatrano (178), Carter Verhaeghe (164), Maxim Mamin (146), and Owen Tippett (94). He skated 70 minutes with Jonathan Huberdeau and only six with Aleksander Barkov.
Lundell had an excellent rookie season. Holloway won’t get close to the same PK time, but Lundell produced 18 goals in 65 games, playing mainly in a third-line role. He was on a very deep team, similar to Holloway in Edmonton.
Advertisement
Ad
Seth Jarvis
Jarvis produced 17-23-40 in 68 games for the Carolina Hurricanes.
He was 9th amongst forwards in TOI (13:52/game) and was 6th in points.
He was 9th in 5×5 TOI (12:04/game) and 5th in points with 14-18-32.
He was 7th in PP TOI (93 min) and produced 2-4-6.
He wasn’t on the PK.
He played 821 minutes at 5×5 in 68 games.
His most common linemates were Sebastien Aho (422 min), Andrei Svechnikov (245), Tuevo Teravainen (225), Vincent Trocheck (174), Steven Lorentz (105) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (104).
Like Lundell, Jarvis was on a first-place team in their division, but unlike Lundell, Jarvis played more of his minutes in the top six. However, when he played with Aho or Trocheck, Rod Brind’amour opted to give him sheltered competition. Jarvis played 28.9% of his time v. Elite, 36.1% v. Middle and 35% v. Grit players. Aho played 39% of his time v. Elite, so Brind’Amour opted to have Jarvis with Aho in easier matchups. Smart coaching. Jarvis wasn’t on the ice late in games protecting leads, which is understandable. He’s a rookie and the Canes have many defensively reliable veteran forwards.
Advertisement
Ad
Dawson Mercer
Mercer scored 17-25-42 in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils.
He was 1st among forwards in total ice time, mainly due to him playing every game. He was 5th in TOI/game (16:52) and 5th in points.
He was 2nd in 5×5 TOI/game at 13:43 and was 3rd in points with 14-18-32.
He was third in PP TOI (152 min) and 5th in points with 2-4-6.
He was 7th in PK TOI (24 min).
His 1126 minutes at 5×5 were the most of any Devils forward.
His most common linemates were Andreas Johnsson (482), Yegor Sharangovich (327), Jesper Bratt (295), Tomas Tatar (280), Jack Hughes (259) and Pavel Zacha (123). He played with different guys, and outside of Nico Hischier, he played with most of their most skilled players.
Mercer’s ability to stay healthy got him more overall ice time, but so did his play. He had a solid rookie campaign, and most of his points came at 5×5. I don’t see Holloway getting as much PP time as Mercer did (152 minutes), but Holloway will get some time on the second unit. He likely will get around 60 minutes of PP time on the second unit, if he stays healthy. The majority of his points will come at even strength.
Advertisement
Ad
Mercer, Jarvis, and Lundell averaged 17 goals and 42 points. I don’t see it being unrealistic to expect Holloway to produce at that pace.
Keep in mind that Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi combined to average 17 goals and 39 points last year. And they played mainly in the top six in Edmonton. If Holloway can muscle his way to being a regular in the top six and play with either McDavid or Draisaitl, then 17-25-42 is very plausible. I could argue that might even be a bit low.
The only reason Holloway doesn’t reach 17-25-42 is if he is injured.
He’s ready for the NHL and more than capable of reaching those realistic offensive projections.