Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Dylan Holloway.
A late 2001 birthday, Dylan Holloway put up eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 35 games as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. He also showed a gritty side to his game with 49 penalty minutes. His father, Bruce Holloway was a defenceman drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 1981 and played two NHL games. He had a long pro career in the AHL and IHL.
Holloway spent last season with the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL. He was named the league’s most valuable player. Holloway scored 40 goals and 88 points in 53 games. He also added nine goals and 13 points in 11 playoff games. Holloway has also represented Canada internationally, putting up one goal and three points in five games and winning gold at the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. He has also played at the last two World Junior A Hockey Championships, winning gold in the December 2017 tourney. Holloway also played at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, scoring four points in seven games. He was part of Team Canada Red at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal. Holloway’s WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips.
Dylan Holloway Scouting Report
Left Wing/Center — shoots Left
Born September 23rd, 2001 — Bragg Creek, Alberta
Height 6’1″ — Weight 203 lbs [185 cm / 92 kg]
Holloway is another excellent skater. He has a tremendous first step and really strong acceleration. This all leads to very good top-end speed. Holloway is even better with his edgework and agility. His ability to change directions quickly with his quick cuts along with his ability to change speeds makes him very dangerous in one-on-one situations. He can be deadly on the rush. Holloway also has a very strong stride and good power in his lower body. He can fight through checks and still get to the front of the net. Holloway is good along the boards and can play in the dirty areas of the ice.
Holloway’s stickhandling ability is also top-notch allowing him to make plays at top speed. This makes him extremely dangerous off the rush. Holloway’s speed forces defenders to back off. He can get by them on the outside and cut to the net. This opens up passing and shooting lanes. He can fire a quick wrist shot on goal using the defender as a screen. His shot is heavy and accurate. He also has a strong snapshot. Holloway gets to the front of the net. He can finish with the quick hands to bury rebounds or deflect in a teammates’ shot.
Holloway can also play the role of a playmaker. He has the passing skills to get the puck through tight lanes. He also has the vision and anticipation to find that passing lane to an open teammate to set up a scoring chance. Holloway uses his size and balance to protect the puck down low in the cycle game and create time and space for teammates. His speed allows him to get in quickly on the forecheck and pressure opposing defenders into mistakes. He is a hard hitter who will bury a defender into the boards if he gets the opportunity and this pressure helps to create offensive opportunities on those opponent’s mistakes.
A smart two-way player, Holloway positions himself well and creates turnovers with his active stick and hard work in all three zones. He can be used on the penalty kill as well as to play against high scoring forwards on the opponent’s team. Holloway is willing to bring his physical game in all three zones, throwing hits in the neutral zone and in his own end of the ice. He smartly applies backpressure in supporting the defence against the rush. Holloway is also willing to work down low, helping defenders in containing the cycle game. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots.
Projection and Comparison
Holloway is extremely fundamentally sound. He is a coach’s dream with his effort level and his willingness to do all the little things necessary to win games. A lack of offensive production at Wisconsin is a bit of a concern though. He has all the tools but it did not seem to lead to a lot of points last season. Being an NCAA freshman is tough, especially on a team where Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield were higher in the pecking order and got more ice time.
Expect Holloway to play another season in college. It is hoped that more responsibility will see him take his game to the next level. While he mainly played on the wing last year, his skating and his defensive game may allow him to play centre going forward. His game is reminiscent of Jordan Staal. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Dylan Holloway that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.