Dylan Holloway is a 2020 NHL Draft Eligible prospect who could potentially be a top 15 draft selection. Holloway is a Calgary, Alberta native and grew up playing in the Calgary Jr. Flames organization. During his time with Jr. Flames, Holloway played alongside defensive prospect Jonny Tychonick (Ottawa Senators). After his time playing with the Calgary Flames Bantam and Midget programs, he joined the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL.
Since joining the Okotoks Oilers in 2017, he has developed into an elite power forward. This past season, Holloway proved that he is one of the best prospects in Western Canada. In 53 games, Holloway tallied 40 goals and 48 assists. In addition to his campaign with the Oilers, he suited for Canada at the World Juniors under 18 tournament (WJC-18). In seven games at the WJC-18, he produced two goals and tw0 assists.
His success with the Okotoks Oilers caught the attention of the University of Wisconsin Badgers and their Athletic Director was able to get Holloway to verbally commit to attend the school a few years back. Holloway could have joined the Everett Silvertips (WHL) instead, but his father advised him that the NCAA would be a better path. The Silvertips had Holloway’s WHL rights after drafting him a few years back. Earlier this summer, the Silvertips struck a deal with the Winnipeg Ice and the Ice acquired Holloway’s WHL rights. The Ice must have felt that they had a chance to sway the 17 year old away from the University of Wisconsin, but it does not seem like they have been successful at keeping the power forward away from the Dairy State.
Next season, Holloway will suit up for the Badgers. The Badgers have done an outstanding job in their recruiting efforts. Not only have they managed to lure Holloway to Madison, Wisconsin, but they also have landed both Cole Caufield (Montréal Canadiens prospect) and Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings prospect). In addition to Holloway, Caufield, Turcotte (who are joining the Badgers this season), the Badgers have quite a bit of top talent including K’Andre Miller (New York Rangers prospect), Jack Gorniak (Montréal Canadiens prospect), Linus Weissbach (Buffalo Sabres prospect), Ty Emberton (Arizona Coyotes prospect), Owen Lindmark (Florida Panthers prospect) and Tyler Inamoto (Florida Panthers prospect).
Weight: 192 lbs
The best quality of Holloway’s skating is his speed. The 17 year old will propel himself by using his cross-overs to ignite his speed. When he uses his cross-overs, he can zoom right past his opposition. It comes in handy when Holloway is carrying the puck from zone to zone and when the opposition breaks out and Holloway needs to rush back to the defensive zone.
In addition to his speed and cross-overs, Holloway’s turns are smooths and he is able to make tight turns when needed. His edge-work is quite good and he will rely on his edges in his forward stride.
In the clip below, you can see Holloway speed up the ice using his cross-overs and edge-work to help power him towards the net. While his speed burst does not lead to much success during this sequence, Holloway’s speed allows him to create plenty of scoring chances in the offensive zone.
Holloway’s skating is extremely good, but there are a couple of areas that need to be addressed. It is evident from footage that Holloway is not confident in his backwards skating. His backwards skating is rather slow and he can overpowered quite easily when going backwards. Also, his spin move while effective is far from NHL-ready. His spin move might pave the way for scoring chances in the AJHL and the NCAA, but it will not fool NHLers.
In the clip below, you can see Holloway use a spin move to try to confuse the opposition. His spin move does not seem to fool anyone (especially the goaltender). The goaltender reads the situation quite well and is able to neutralize the scoring chance.
Holloway feels most at home when he is right in front of the crease. He loves to park himself right near the opposition’s goaltender and look for pivotal moments to strike. Holloway will also drive towards the net to pounce on rebounds, as he loves to grab loose pucks.
In the below clip, you can see Holloway driving towards the net and sniffing out a rebound. Once Holloway has possession of the puck, he sees the goaltender out of position and slips the puck past the goalie for a goal. This is just one example of how Holloway loves to capitalize in front of the net.
He tends to pick his corners quite well and has strong accuracy. When he is in front of the net, he will tend to lean more on his wrist shot. His preference for his wrist shot up close makes sense as his slap shot could be unpredictable when picking his corners.
While his accuracy is strong when Holloway is close to the net, that is not the case when he is beyond the faceoff circles. Hopefully, University of Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato and his coaching staff can address that next season.
The Calgary native is not a play-maker. He will post assist after assist, but he is not a Patrick Kane nor an Auston Matthews. That just is not his type of play. Instead, as mentioned previously, Holloway is a power forward. He is a constant bruising his opposition, looking for puck battles and jumping on loose pucks. With that being said, his passing is not one of the elements of his game that puts him on the map, but his passing is superb. When Holloway pin-points a teammate across the ice, he will deliver quality pass after quality pass.
Holloway will also complete electric passes when skating down the ice at full speed. In the below sequence, you will see Holloway skate at full speed and deliver a quality pass in the offensive zone. The pass might not be a gorgeous one, but it is effective and sparks a scoring chance.
When Holloway is skating with the puck on his stick, he is capable of completing beautiful plays left and right. His nifty stick-handling is impressive and fun to watch. Holloway can glide the puck from side-to-side without harm at a consistent rate. He will challenge the opposition again and again. When he does skate close to the competition, he loves to shift away from them with the puck and continue up the ice.
In the clip below, you can see Holloway shift around the opposition efficiently. His puck handling is quite reminiscent of Mitch Marner. Marner and Holloway both seem to be able to confuse the opposition and glide the puck around them at a consistent rate.
While Holloway is a crafty puck-handler, there are games where he struggles. You will see from time to time that he has difficulty in transition and will cough up the puck. It is a concern, but the good news is that Holloway only has a few so-so transitional games throughout the season.
As a power forward, Holloway is always motivated to grab the puck. He does whatever he can to grab the puck. Holloway is not afraid to lay down a hit. Sometimes his checks are not earth shattering, but they are effective. In addition, Holloway will drop to his knees to block shots and is always hungry for loose pucks.
In the clip below, you will see Holloway chase the puck and engage in a puck battle on the boards. While he might not be successful at grabbing the puck from the competition, it shows how defensive minded he is.
The element to his defensive game that truly impresses scouts is his drive to fall back to the defensive zone. He is constantly moving his feet and will speed along the boards or across the ice towards the defensive zone to shut down his opposition. Often you will see prospects who just want to put up points and ignore the defensive zone, but two-way forwards are of need in the NHL.
Holloway is an elite talent with power forward and two-way tendencies. Next season, he will get the opportunity to play alongside some of the best hockey prospects in the world and will continue to develop/grow his game.
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