Who is Dylan Holloway? Oilers’ 2020 first-round pick to make NHL debut in Game 4 vs. Avalanche

The Oilers are in desperate need of a spark as the team is facing elimination down 3-0 in the Western Conference Final. That jolt could be Dylan Holloway.

The Oilers’ 2020 first-round pick is reportedly going to make his NHL debut tonight in Game 4 against the Avalanche, according to a report from Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

The opening in the lineup for the 20-year-old is due to the Oilers’ being without Kailer Yamamoto and Evander Kane. Yamamoto is still out with an upper-body injury he sustained in Game 2 from a hit Gabriel Landeskog and Kane is serving his one-game suspension for his hit on Nazem Kadri in Game 3.

The talented forward’s debut may be too little, too late for an Oilers’ offense that has managed just two goals in the past two games against the Avalanche. But Edmonton needs to find a way to survive Game 4 without two of its top-six forwards, and Holloway may be an answer for them.

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Dylan Holloway 2021-22 stats

The 2021-22 season was Holloway’s first at the professional level.

He spent the entirety of the season in the AHL with the Oilers’ affiliate the Bakersfield Condors, but the forward did miss the first half of the campaign after undergoing wrist surgery in September.

In 33 games with the Condors, Holloway managed eight goals and 14 assists, and added four points in five playoff games for the club as well.

It’s likely that Holloway would have already made his NHL debut before Monday’s game, but between the wrist surgery and a knee injury in April, he’s been held back a bit.

Where did Dylan Holloway previously play?

Before signing his entry-level contract with the Oilers, Holloway was a standout forward at the University of Wisconsin.

He enrolled at Wisconsin in the fall of 2019, playing alongside fellow first-round pick Cole Caufield. During his freshman season, the forward had 17 points in 35 games.

In his second season with the Badgers, Holloway finished the year with 11 goals and 24 assists in 23 games, ranking fifth in the NCAA in scoring and fourth in points per game. He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team.

That season, the Badgers were one of the highest-ranked teams in the country. After Wisconsin lost to Minnesota in the Big 10 championship, it was ranked No. 4 and given a No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. However, the Badgers were upset by Bemidji State in the first game of the tournament.

Dylan Holloway scouting report

The native of Calgary, who was listed as the Oilers’ top prospect in Scott Wheeler’s prospect pool rankings for The Athletic, brings a strong, two-way game to the rink. His best asset is his skating, which helps him on the forecheck and the backcheck. He has a lively stick that he uses to pick off passes and lifts sticks to steal possession.

The flashiest part of his game, other than his skating, is his hands. Holloway owns some silky mitts and isn’t afraid to use them.

Holloway also loves to throw the body around, which bodes well considering how physical playoff hockey is and especially how much the Avs love to hit.

He plays a smart, 200-foot game. It’s not ideal for his first showing to come in an elimination game in the playoffs and it’s not clear how Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft will use the young player. But Holloway will be given the opportunity tonight to play on one of the biggest stages in hockey.

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