Each day over the next 10 days leading up to the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, held on Oct. 6–7, The Rink will be taking a look at draft prospects who could be available when the Chicago Blackhawks announce their selection with the 17th overall pick. We will group the players by position, starting with forwards.
Next in the series of prospect profiles is Canadian center Dylan Holloway.
2019–20 Team: Wisconsin (NCAA)
Date of Birth: Sept. 23, 2001
Place of Birth: Calgary, AB, Canada
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 203 pounds
NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 12 (North American Skaters)
NHL Central Scouting Midterm Ranking: 10 (North American Skaters)
NHL Comparable: Gabriel Landeskog
What you see is pretty much what you get with Dylan Holloway. Holloway boasts a nice package of size, skill and speed to go along with a well-rounded two-way game.
Holloway is first and foremost a power forward. He plays an aggressive-yet-disciplined style and is not afraid to get into the action to make an impact physically. Holloway sports a high-energy motor that defines his relentless playing style. A hard worker in all facets of the game, he is an extremely responsible and reliable player regardless of the situation.
In addition to his work ethic, Holloway’s versatility also serves him well and will continue to do so as he advances in his career. Though listed as a center, Holloway can easily play on the wing and has done so at various times throughout his career. Additionally, his well-rounded game allows him to slot in up and down a lineup while still being effective in the assigned role.
Holloway possesses a nice offensive skill set despite not being an elite point producer. Arguably Holloway’s biggest offensive strength is his skill with the puck. He owns quality hands and uses them effectively, maneuvering the puck through and around defenders with ease. Holloway’s puck skills also allow him to be a sound passer though he will not dazzle you with high-end playmaking. Similarly, Holloway possesses a solid shot with a decent release and good power.
Skating is generally a strength for Holloway, as he has little trouble working his way around the ice. However, adding an explosive component to his skating would take his mobility to the next level and make him a more dangerous offensive threat.
Implications for the Blackhawks
Holloway has been up and down the draft board throughout the season and could approach the 10–12 range or could slip into the 20s, so where he will end up is anyone’s guess. That said, should he still be available when the Blackhawks make their selection at 17, he would provide much-needed size to Chicago’s prospect pool. The Hawks opted for Kirby Dach’s size last year, and if they want to continue shoring up that aspect of the system, Holloway would be an excellent choice, immediately making him one of the Blackhawks’ larger forward prospects. Another thing to note is the added insight the front office could get on Holloway from Wyatt Kalynuk, who captained the Badgers this past season before signing with the Hawks this summer.
Holloway will likely spend at least another couple of years playing for the Badgers, so do not expect to see Holloway playing professionally until at least 2022–23 or 2023–24 depending on when he decides to make the jump. The biggest areas of improvement to focus on while playing at Wisconsin are likely the need to develop more confidence in his game, particularly offensively, after a disappointing season for the Badgers as a whole as well as adding diversity and consistency to his offensive repertoire.
Though many think Holloway can develop into a top-six player at the NHL level, he will more realistically project as a middle-six option capable of contributing in a number of areas. As mentioned, his versatility will aid him in his development and ability to make an impact wherever he plays. Despite likely not having a ton of offensive upside, Holloway is the type of player a team needs in the lineup to be successful.
What others are saying
“He’s best described as a complete package, which is what makes him such an attractive prospect in this draft. He’s been well-scouted the past three seasons and is therefore a well-known commodity who has been evaluated mostly while playing as one of the youngest members on his team at every level. He understands the game very well and utilizes his skating, smarts and skills with a determination and passion that places him in the right position at the right time to make good plays. He’s an ultimate team player with strong leadership attributes.”
“Holloway is a hound off the puck who consistently applies pressure with physicality, especially on the penalty kill. He gets involved on the forecheck and creates turnovers thanks to smart reads, proper stick positioning and quick turns towards the direction of puck travel. Holloway has proven to be effective in various types of zone-coverage schemes and usually stays within the system being implemented. By watching him react to puck movement accordingly while maintaining positional flexibility, you get the sense that Holloway is not trying to do everyone’s job and listens to the coaching staff’s instructions. Once he has the puck under control, Holloway features a relatively wide skating base and accelerates with a powerful stride and above-average straight-line speed. His first step is quick, and he can make instant directional changes, tight turns and pivot on a dime while moving at top speed, all while maintaining control of the puck during these difficult maneuvers. His skating most certainly is a strong suit, and his escapability along the boards while taking hard shoves reveals his elite balance.”