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Blackhawks’ No. 17 pick in 2020 NHL Draft: Making case for Dylan Holloway

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The forward drew attention during his freshman season at Wisconsin with his speed, size and skills.

Wisconsin freshman Dylan Holloway
NHL.com

The Second City Hockey staff will profile 10 players leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft, which will start Oct. 6, the Blackhawks could have the opportunity to select at No. 17 overall.

Dylan Holloway raised eyebrows as a 17-year-old when he was named the Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year after torching the Albert Junior Hockey League with 88 points (40 goals, 48 assists) in 53 games for the Okotoks Oilers. That season also included four points in seven games with Team Canada at the Under-18 World Juniors.

The 2019-20 season took Holloway to the University of Wisconsin, where he posted 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 35 games. Far from eye-popping numbers, but a still enough production from a true freshman to make Holloway register on NHL Draft radars.

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic offered a lengthy breakdown of Holloway in May, which includes extensive video highlights. One of the biggest takeaways from the article revolves around Holloway’s physical tools, where the popular “man amongst boys” line arrives, which is not to be ignored for a then 18-year-old (he turned 19 on Sept. 23) playing in the Big Ten full of athletes in their early 20s.

One of the Blackhawks high-ranking scouts offered a similar glowing review of Holloway on a recent episode of the Blackhawks Talk podcast:

“We’ve been watching Dylan for a few years, too. Dylan was playing up in the Alberta Junior League, and this year very conveniently right up there in Wisconsin. He plays a really kinda power two-way game, great presence on the ice.” - Mark Kelley, Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting, on Dylan Holloway

Holloway has the size that catches scouts’ eyes but it doesn’t diminish his excellent skating ability. He also possesses a powerful wrist shot that had multiple scouting reports suggest his offensive numbers could see a significant increase in ‘20-21. The combination of speed, size and hockey ability for a teenager will have teams lining up to take Holloway if he’s still available in the middle of the first round.

Organizational fit

Depending on what position he plays in the NHL, Holloway could start as the third-line center behind Jonathan Toews or Kirby Dach or as the third-line left winger behind Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad. And, as those older players start to regress, Holloway projects as a future top-six forward.

Holloway was teammates this past season with defensemen Josh Ess and Wyatt Kalynuk, both of whom were seventh-round picks in 2017. Chicago selected Ess while Kalynuk was taken by the Flyers, but opted to forego his senior season and signed with a two-year deal with the Blackhawks in July. Former Rockford associate coach Mark Osiecki (2013-16) is on Wisconsin’s staff in the same role.

Basics

Position: Center/Left Wing

Age: 19 (Sept. 23, 2001)

Hometown: Bragg Creek, Alberta

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 203 pounds

Shoots: Left

Team: Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA)

Draft rankings

NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 12 North American skater

Elite Prospects: No. 18

Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 18

Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 22

Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects): No. 21

Craig Button (TSN): No. 14