Devils Draft Series: Dylan Holloway, Versatile NCAA Two-Way Forward

Dylan Holloway
Dylan Holloway is entering his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin. (Photo by: GREG ANDERSON, UW ATHLETICS)

Profile

Dylan Holloway is an 18-year-old whose birthday falls in September, so he is one of the oldest prospects in this class. The versatile 6-foot, 203-pound Canadian can play any forward position. He is a left-handed shot that started his junior career in Canada but made the move to the NCAA for this season. Specifically, the University of Wisconsin, who, like Holloway himself, fell short of expectations. In the final 2020 Draft Prospect Rankings, he ranks 12th after being 10th in the midterm rankings.

The Statistics

Holloway started his junior career as a 13-year-old in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League. In 66 career games across two seasons, he compiled 51 points and was the captain of his team in the second season. In the third season of his junior career, he moved to the Alberta Midget Hockey League for a season, where he tallied 20 points in 31 games. In comparison, Peyton Krebs, who is a year older than Holloway, tallied 40 points in 29 games that same season.

After his tour through the lower ranks of the Alberta hockey system, Holloway debuted in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) as a 16-year-old. Across parts of three seasons, he appeared in 83 games, totaling a lofty 115 points. The most impressive year of his AJHL career came in his last season (2018-19), where he totaled 88 points (40 goals, 48 assists) in 53 games. This point-per-game average was the best single-season performance in the last 40 years of the league. 

Holloway made the move to the NCAA as an 18-year-old, where he joined the likes of Cole Caufield, K’Andre Miller, and Alex Turcotte. The University of Wisconsin was dubbed favorites, not only in the conference but also in the NCAA as a whole. They finished the season 7-15-2-2, which was last in the division. Holloway also struggled, as he tallied only eight goals and nine points in 35 games along with a minus-three rating. He will return as a sophomore next season.

Holloway’s Scouting Report

Strengths

The biggest strength of Holloway’s game comes from his strength. He is able to win board battles, maintain puck possession through using his body to shield the puck. And overall, he’s very reliable in the defensive zone. Another positive result of Holloway’s strength is his skating. Watching his film, you can see he has a great stride and is an extremely powerful skater, something he should rely on more in his game.

On the topic of defense, Holloway is also a smart player. In transition, this high IQ is apparent, as he does great in hindering opponents from gaining the zone cleanly. Additionally, he is a hard worker which again contributes to his strong defensive game. 

Lastly, Holloway has solid stickhandling for someone his size. He relies on it heavily to often successfully gain the offensive zone. This ability also comes in handy when using his powerful strides in navigating through the neutral zone.

Weaknesses

Holloway does not have any single area of glaring weakness, but instead several different areas that need slight improvement. He often is too reliant on his great stickhandling when in reality he should focus more on his speed in certain situations. This can sometimes lead to turnovers.

His over-reliance on his stickhandling also leads him to play more conservative in terms of his passing. He would much rather enter the zone by himself than looking for a teammate to dish the puck off to.

His shot selection is another area of his game that needs work. Watching his film, a majority of his shots are from the outside and non-dangerous areas. The shot itself can also use a little more work too, specifically with accuracy and placement.

And of course, his production throughout his junior career, excluding his final AJHL season, has been subpar in comparison to his draftmates. The production in the lower levels of the Alberta Junior system, as well as his first NCAA season, is not the rate you want to see a possible top-15 selection produce at.

Projection

From watching Holloway’s tape and taking into consideration what others have to say about him, he seems to project as no more than a middle-six forward. However, he is going to be extremely versatile, as he can play all positions, be able to serve on the top penalty kill unit, and also play a net-front presence on the power play. Teams will most likely love Holloway for his physicality, work ethic, and determination. Selecting him will most likely come down to a team’s needs rather than him being the “best player available.”

The sweet spot for Holloway seems to be between picks 12 and 16. Meaning the Devils will have the shot to take him if this is the direction the team wants to go.

Fit With the Devils

The Devils will have a shot at Holloway with the team’s second first-rounder, the Coyotes’ pick, which should roughly be around pick 10. This is too early for Holloway, and if the Devils want to take him it shouldn’t be until the team’s third first-rounder. 

However, I have yet to evaluate players such as Dawson Mercer and Noel Gunler, both of who should be better options for the Devils around 17. When it comes down to it, it seems I am going to be a bit lower on Holloway than most.

Ranking of Evaluated Prospects

1. Alexis Lafrenière (no profile will be released)

2. Tim Stützle (05/07/2020)

3. Quinton Byfield (05/08/2020)

4. Marco Rossi (04/30/2020)

5. Jamie Drysdale (05/01/2020)

6. Lucas Raymond (04/28/2020)

7. Alexander Holtz (04/29/2020)

8. Cole Perfetti (05/05/2020)

9. Anton Lundell (05/11/2020)

10. Yaroslav Askarov (05/05/2020)

11. Seth Jarvis (05/13/2020)

12. Jake Sanderson (05/04/2020)

13. Rodion Amirov (05/12/2020)

14. Jack Quinn (05/09/2020)

15. Dylan Holloway (Today)

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