The Tampa Bay Lightning, and former Wisconsin Badgers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, were just crowned Stanley Cup champions eight days ago but it is already time to look to the future! The first round of the NHL Draft is on Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. CT on NBCSN and current Wisconsin forward Dylan Holloway is expected to be selected at some point.
The sophomore out of Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs just over 200 pounds and was invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp this year. He was named Dr. Joseph Coyne-Joe Pavelski Most Consistent Player for the Badgers at the end of the season and scored eight goals (one PPG, one GWG) and nine assists in 35 games played. Holloway also led the team with 19 penalties.
“His prototype is that of a two-way forward, getting praise for not only his offensive skills, but his defensive commitment...It isn’t really so much a weakness in his game, but there are some debates among scouts about how high his offensive upside really is. Some think he can develop into as much as an elite playmaker, others think he isn’t that dynamic, though he may still cap out as a serviceable NHL player.”
If you look at Colin Cudmore’s expected range spreadsheet here, which pulls from 40+ mock drafts and other outlets, Holloway ranks No. 17 (the Blackhawks slot) with an expected range of 14-22. The teams in that range are:
Here are where a few prominent outlets have Holloway ending up and here is a prospect profile from The Hockey News:
The Athletic, Corey Pronman ($): No. 14, Edmonton Oilers
“I’ve had Edmonton taking Holloway as a hunch for a bit and haven’t heard anything to move me off that position, but I do think Prince Albert defenseman Kaiden Guhle would be another possibility.”
“Like many teams with a recent record of success, the St. Louis prospect pipeline is quite shallow. In fact, in the Prospect Report we recently released at McKeens, the Blues system was graded as the weakest of all 31 NHL teams, with room to spare. So outside of a little bit of depth in young goaltenders, the Blues need everything. With only a few exceptions, this is a team that likes to draft bigger players, with grit and puck transporting capability also generally desired. If the finer points of a player’s game are a little rougher around the edges, they have been OK with that. And looks who’s on the board! Dylan Holloway!
The Wisconsin forward was a leading scorer in Jr. A in Alberta, but played a more complimentary role as a freshman last season, behind luminaries like Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte. He is a physically mature power forward who has very good wheels and has shown soft hands as well. The reason he might still be available at pick 26 is a concern about his offensive upside as he can show clear signs of tunnel vision, leading to a lack of creativity. He can play the game too fast, and out of control, leading to too many rushes that go straight to the corner and die out. If he can reign himself in, he could prove a very valuable late first rounder within two or three years.”
ESPN, Chris Peters ($): No. 17, Chicago Blackhawks
“Holloway had a bit of a down season in 2019-20, but there are enough teams still high on him based on his total body of work that he still should go in the teens. Chicago has depth on the blue line in its prospect pool, but it could really use more skill up front. Holloway doesn’t have flash with his hands, but his skating is excellent, and he should be a major player for Wisconsin in his sophomore campaign.”
“The Jackets’ system is thin on defensemen prospects, with Guhle or Schneider a possible pick if either falls. But Holloway feels like a good fit with his size and two-way ability.”
NHL Central Scouting ranked six Badgers for this year’s draft, so Holloway shouldn’t be the only Wisconsin player selected this year. If Holloway is drafted on Tuesday night, he will be the No. 16 Badgers player selected in the first round of an NHL draft and the fourth in the past three years.