EDMONTON, AB - This is the (Hollo)way.
Following a busy 2020-21 season with the University of Wisconsin Badgers of the NCAA, 2020 14th-overall National Hockey League Draft selection Dylan Holloway put pen to paper on an entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
"I still remember the draft like it was yesterday," Holloway told the media on Friday. "I thought I progressed really well as a player. The World Juniors really helped me out. It let me see my competition and let me be around guys that were already signed, so that was a really cool experience."
The Alberta product registered 11 goals and 35 points in 23 games with the Badgers this season and also helped Team Canada earn a silver medal at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship by producing two points in six outings.
"I tried to take what I learned from World Juniors into the second half of the year. That's when I thought I was improving a lot," Hollaway said. "I was a little more comfortable on the ice with the pace at the NCAA level. I thought that helped a lot and I just carried that momentum throughout that second half of the season."
Video: RAW | Dylan Holloway 04.16.21
The 6-foot-1 forward is rehabbing from surgery after sustaining a thumb injury near the end of the year with Wisconsin. Holloway will stay in Madison to receive treatment and continue recovering.
"It happened in the Big Ten tournament against Penn State. It's not 100 percent ready yet," he said. "I don't want to rush anything because it is an injury that if I don't let heal properly, it will affect my hand and my wrist for the rest of my life."
Once his thumb is fully healed, Holloway will continue his development in the Oilers prospect pipeline, hoping to crack a spot on the roster one day.
"It's pretty exciting to think about playing alongside players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the future," he said. "I'm just hoping I can bring a valuable role to the team and develop into the best player I can be to help the team win games."