Last season, in his first year with the Manchester Monarchs, forward Bud Holloway
did not produce the offensive numbers the Los Angeles Kings expected from him when they selected him in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
In 38 games with the Monarchs, Holloway scored just seven goals while notching a mere five assists. Holloway was then sent down to the Ontario Reign of the WHL, a move that Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development, Nelson Emerson, said was a critical one in Holloway's maturation as a player.
"That was really important for his development as a player and right from the start this season he had the confidence to play well in Manchester," Emerson said.
In 23 games for the Reign, Holloway notched 14 goals and eight assists, a level of production that Holloway has carried back to Manchester this season. Through 58 games, Holloway is second on the team in goals (16) and first on the team in assists (24) and points (40), prompting Holloway to be named LAKings.com's Prospect of the Week.
For a team that has had to overcome a tremendous amount of roster turnover as a result of injuries and players getting sent up to the Kings, Holloway's steady level of production has been a crucial reason why the Monarchs have remained near the top of the AHL Atlantic Division standings this season.
"The point total doesn't surprise me," Emerson said. "He has a knack and ability for offense and he's an opportunistic scorer. With all the injuries that they have had this year, Bud is one who has been able to stay healthy and he's been an important player for them and crucial for the team."
Holloway attributes a rise in his confidence level as the main reason behind his increased productivity this season.
"I've taken quite a few steps this season and I have the confidence to make plays," Holloway said. "There are still steps that I need to take and a gap from where I need to be but I'm sticking with the process."
As for the roster turnover that has occurred all season-long, Holloway said that the important thing is that whatever combination of players make up the Monarchs at any given time, there is a singular belief in sticking to the process of the team.
"It's a solid belief in the players who are here," Holloway said. "There are a lot of players going up and down in this league and that's something that you can't control."
Holloway, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Mar. 1, was born in Wapella, Saskatchewan, Canada, and spent five seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL before joining the Monarchs last season.
In seeing many of his teammates, such as Oscar Moller, Scott Parse, Rich Clune, and Corey Elkins make the jump to the NHL, Holloway understands it is a long process and that he just needs to stick to it.
"I have developed as a player, the Los Angeles Kings have continued to develop me as a player," Holloway said. "I'm taking steps in the right direction.
Emerson has seen the steps that Holloway has taken and is excited for what is to come.
"He's capable of producing and not just helping out but being a leader," Emerson said. "We expect that from him and we expect more. He's a gifted offensive player."