Dylan Holloway (6-foot, 203 pounds), a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, will file a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal.
The 18-year-old forward, an A rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, has seven points (three goals, four assists) and 39 shots on goal in 17 games for the Badgers. In his third entry, Holloway discusses his excitement to receive an invitation to Hockey Canada's selection camp that will help determine the roster for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Czech Republic. This entry was written prior to Holloway learning he was one of nine players cut from camp Thursday.
Hello hockey fans.
I'm currently in Oakville, Ontario for Hockey Canada selection camp. Hockey Canada contacted Wisconsin coach Tony Granato and coach told me right away, before I got the call from Hockey Canada, and I was pretty excited.
I knew I wasn't a lock by any means but when I got the call, I was super excited. It's just a huge honor to be able to represent Canada at this camp.
I think I've been playing pretty well for Wisconsin lately. I obviously haven't been getting as many points as I would like, but I think my game is a lot more than just points. I try to be a 200-foot player, make an impact offensively and defensively just by doing the little plays around the ice. So I think that combination is what got me the invite. Also, the competition I'm playing against is pretty high level, so I think doing whatever I can to help the team win, that's how you get noticed.
I was disappointed when I wasn't invited to Hockey Canada's development camp at the World Junior Summer Showcase in August (in Plymouth, Michigan) but I knew there had been cases where players weren't invited to the summer showcase and still were invited to the selection camp in December. I was just keeping my eyes open for the selection camp and doing whatever I could to be invited.
It would mean so much to make this team. Growing up in Canada, the World Juniors means everything. I remember watching World Juniors from the time I was 5-years-old and I still watch it now. It's such a big deal in Canada. I was talking to (Wisconsin teammate Alex Turcotte) about it the other day. It's kind of like March Madness for Canadians; that's how big it is in Canada. And that's why it's such a huge honor to be invited to this camp. I'll do whatever I can to make this team.
Anytime you can wear the Maple Leaf on your sweater, it's an incredible experience and huge honor. In all the tournaments I've played in for Canada, I've made lifelong friendships and it's been unbelievable, so anytime I get a chance to go back, I'm excited because these camps are so much fun. You're playing with and against players you know are going to have a future in hockey and going to play for a long time, so to be able to wear the sweater next to them is pretty cool.
The thing is, Canada expects to win this tournament every year; that's just how it goes. There's a little pressure, but the coaches and the staff make sure they put in a winning mindset right away. That's the goal from Day 1 ... to win the World Junior Championship.
It's always crazy playing against those rival teams like the United States and Russia, and both those countries are in our preliminary-round group this year. Those games get intense and are cool because the fans are insane, especially when the games are in Canada. I remember as a kid going to a game in my hometown in Calgary, and it was incredible.
Well, time to get back to work. Until next time, thanks for reading this month.
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