If there was ever any doubt about Dylan Holloway making the Edmonton Oilers, that’s all been thrown by the wayside.
‘Hollywood’ Holloway led the way Monday night in a 7-2 Oilers victory against a heavily under-matched Vancouver Canucks club by scoring a hat trick.
His first opened the game, while the second extended the Oilers’ lead in the second. His third goal came in the third frame and helped put the game out of reach for the Canucks.
Sure, it came against a Canucks club that featured next to no actual NHL’ers, but when we talk about preseason hockey, we talk about seizing opportunities. These are exactly the games where players trying to earn a spot, much like Holloway, need to step up and shine.
He did exactly that and then some.
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“It felt really good, it was kind of one of those nights where everything went right,” said Holloway of his goals. “I owe a lot to my linemates, two pretty good players in Leon and Hyms.”
Holloway is here to stay. It’s not just the goals that were impressive, either. Of his seven shot attempts: five of them hit the net, four were scoring chances and three of those came from high danger areas. He also drew a penalty, was credited with drawing one penalty and laying three hits — the most of any Oiler not named Evander Kane.
At 5×5 this preseason, nobody in the entire NHL has scored more goals than Holloway. He’s making an impact already and while he played lots with depth players leading into this game, he looked tremendous playing in a top-six role.
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Far from a negative way, but Dylan Holloway is throwing a bit of a wrench in what the opening lineup could project to be. Our friends at DailyFaceoff don’t have him projected to make the Oilers’ top 12, but it’s clear he’s better than a number of players in that group. He easily beats out the likes of Mattias Janmark, Devin Shore, and Derek Ryan. While I’ve been impressed with Warren Foegele’s game, Holloway’s performed better than him so far, and I think he’s even had a better camp than Kailer Yamamoto. There could even be a world where he knocks Jesse Puljujarvi down the depth chart.
There’s a world where Holloway could be a legitimate top-six player to start the year. He plays the game in all the right ways and there seemed to be instant chemistry alongside Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, who also had a great night scoring a goal and adding two assists.
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Whether Holloway is in the Oilers’ top-six, or playing on the third line, it’s clear he knows what he needs to do to be effective on the ice. These last two preseason games — played Wednesday against the Canucks in Abbotsford, and Friday night at home against the Seattle Kraken — will determine just how the opening day roster shakes out.

The Clips

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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 [email protected]

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.