Dylan Holloway (6-foot, 192 pounds), a freshman forward at the University of Wisconsin, will file a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal on June 26-27. The 18-year-old forward, an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's October preliminary players to watch list, had 88 points (40 goals, 48 assists) in 53 regular-season games and 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 11 playoff games last season for Okotoks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In his first entry, Holloway discusses his decision to attend Wisconsin and expectations in his first season.
Hello hockey fans,
I'm so excited to be providing a draft diary for NHL.com at the University of Wisconsin this season.
My dad, Bruce Holloway (who played two games with the Vancouver Canucks in 1984-85), got me into the game when I was pretty young. My first memory of hockey is having the double-blade skates at the outdoor rink in our town (Calgary) when I was about 2 years old. Ever since then, I've loved to get on the ice and skate. When I was 5, I played in a league in my town and ever since my love for hockey just kind of increased, and now here I am.
Before joining Wisconsin, I played two-plus seasons for Okotoks in the AJHL. It was a great spot for me. It was a bigger jump going midget to junior and then (2017-18) was the year that really helped my development. The one thing I learned is that the pace gets a lot quicker as you go up and my decision-making had to be a lot quicker.
I loved the University of Wisconsin when I first visited. A big reason I wanted to continue my career here is because of the coaches, Tony Granato, Mark Osiecki, and Mark Strobel. They are three unbelievably good guys. Jim Snider, the strength and conditioning coach, is top notch and a genius at what he does. So those four people and then the rink itself, it's an unreal facility on campus and I just loved it here.
I have not decided on a major yet but I'm leaning towards personal finance.
I want to do everything I can to help the team win as a freshman. I think my linemates to begin the season will be Tarek Baker and Sean Dhooghe. Hopefully I can be a big part of the team, but if not, I'll do the little things right to help wherever I can.
I think my strengths on the ice are my skating, my shot, and then my hockey IQ. Coach Granato is definitely a player's coach. He's been through it all and knows what the players want. He can be strict at times, which is good, and he holds everyone accountable. Other than that, he's a great coach, a great guy and someone I'd go through a brick wall for.
I'm lucky to have a roommate like Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings) this season. He went through it all last year in the 2019 NHL Draft (selected with the No. 5 pick) so anytime I have a question about the process, he's always there to help me. He's always giving me tips about how to go through things, and he's an awesome roommate.
I missed the cutoff for the 2019 draft by eight days so I'm one of the older 2020 draft-eligible players, but I don't know if that's a big advantage or not. I just try not to think about that and just do whatever I can. There's a bunch of great prospects in this draft so I've just got to do what I can to stand out.
I'm just excited for the start of our regular season at Boston College (on Friday). I know a bunch of junior leagues across the world have already started, as has the NHL, so hockey season is here. I'm really excited to get going.
Thanks for reading this month.
Lead photo credit: Tom Lynn/Wisconsin Athletics
Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class