Dylan Holloway (6-foot-0, 203 pounds), a freshman forward at the University of Wisconsin, has been filing 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 fourth entry, Holloway discusses lessons learned at Canada selection camp, watching his country win the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and the outlook for Wisconsin in the second half of the college season.
Hello hockey fans.
Let me start by saying it was a huge honor to be selected to go to Hockey Canada's selection camp in December and prior to the World Junior Championship. It was a very fast camp with a lot of fast players, so I definitely learned the speed with which you need to play to make it at that level, as well as the skill set involved.
As a kid growing up in Canada, one of my biggest goals has always been to one day play for my country at the World Juniors. That tournament means everything. Sure, you're excited for Christmas, but you're more excited for World Juniors. That's something definitely on my radar in the future.
It was pretty cool to watch the tournament unfold. Even though I was cut from the team, I was rooting hard for all of them. That's my home country and I'm good friends with a lot of the guys on the team. I'm super proud of the Canadians and super proud that they were able to bring home a gold medal.
Me and (World Junior Championship most valuable player) Alexis Lafreniere were teammates at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup (in 2018-19) and he's an unbelievable player. He's so skilled and fast and such a fun player to watch. He's going to have a great hockey career.
I watched most of the World Junior games and it was kind of cool watching my Wisconsin teammates (Alex Turcotte, Cole Caufield, Ty Emberson, K'Andre Miller) play for the United States. When the U.S. played against Canada on Boxing Day (Dec. 26, 2019), that was a cool one to watch. There was so much skill on both sides. I was rooting for Canada but also cheering for my teammates.
During the holiday break, I hung out with the family a lot. I don't get to go home that often, so it was my first time being home in a couple of months. It was great to spend time with the family and friends. I went to the outdoor rink quite a bit too, in Calgary.
As far as my game right now, I think it's progressed as the year has gone on. Getting used to the pace was difficult at first, but I feel like I've established how I want to play in the Big Ten. I still think I'm learning a lot and playing, so hopefully I can have a monster second half of the season.
We play the first of two straight games against Ohio State on Friday (Jan. 10). If we just practice like we've been doing, I think we'll be alright. We've had a good week of practice so far. The big thing is to just stay focused, keep playing hard and for each other, and play for the 'W' on the front and not the name on the back.
Thanks for reading this month. I'll update you again in February.
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