Dylan Holloway is either a complementary winger on a scoring line, an effective checking center, or the Oilers missed the mark in the first round of the 2020 draft.
It looked to me as though all of the obvious names came off the board right in front of Edmonton, leaving three names on my list (Dawson Mercer, Mavrik Bourque, Connor Zary) in the range. Oilers chose a better athlete and a faster skater.
Is he a better hockey player?
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Oilers extend Kris Russell, solve expansion issue
- Lowetide: Can Kyle Turris centre an outscoring No. 3 line in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Tyson Barrie’s skills and how Oilers coach Dave Tippett will deploy him
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers unlock James Neal’s scoring potential at five on five?
- Lowetide: Why is Ilya Konovalov no longer starting in the KHL?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
- Lowetide: Finding Connor McDavid’s optimal linemates among 2020-21 Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: A cautious free agent period boosts an Oilers team still on the upswing
- Lowetide: Oilers bring back Mike Smith for another year.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Tyson Barrie to a team-friendly deal.
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Kyle Turris, Tyler Ennis in early hours of free agency.
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi signing overshadows a strong day for Oilers at draft
- Lowetide: Oilers draft Dylan Holloway on Day 1, with trades possible Wednesday
I rated Holloway No. 25 overall, saying “Big power forward. Strong skater, nice range of skills” in my “Here Comes the Sun” final ranking on June 1. Months went by, the draft did not come. Finally, we got a date for the 2020 selection. I thought about tweaking my list in the weeks before the draft, but decided against it.
Why? I believed that since the math didn’t move over the summer, it would be a reach, beyond what my list tries to do. My list is a math list, more of a “hey Mr. Scout, why do you hate Seth Jarvis?” than pointing out some non-statistical progression made by a player. My work was done. As the great Clint Eastwood said, a man’s got to know his limitations.
So, I left my list where it is and stand by it. My list says the Calgary Flames got a better player despite drafting later in the first round of the 2020 draft, and we’ll see how the story unfolds.
There are people who drill down and look for answers in the video, and one of best is Scott Wheeler at The Athletic. Wheeler went deep, and I mean deep, on Holloway as a prospect (here) and finds a player who brings a unique skill set to every game.
I didn’t use that piece in my evaluation, and did not refer to it in my recent ranking, but absolutely believe you should read it. Wheeler’s evaluation could match the opinion of Edmonton’s scouts. I guarantee you will walk away from that article with a better knowledge of Holloway the player. I will be referring to it in future when discussing Holloway.
One final note: Wheeler did the same thing last season with Raphael Lavoie, who finds myriad ways to get his shot on net (and scores often). Wheeler’s work is original. It is worth your time.
MOST LIKELY OILERS ROSTER
As much fun as it is to add one or two late pieces to this roster, it’s possible Ken Holland will run with this unit. Oscar Klefbom’s LTIR means there is $2.57 million in room and that seems reasonable based on the high degree of unknown re: The defenseman’s injury status. The most likely move remains a right-wing dealt for a left wing or a pick, meaning the club would be free to sign Dominik Kahun or other. Maybe Josh Leivo arrives at a bargain price.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the Oilers had a good middle of the 2020 draft. Tullio and Savoie (imo) were second-round talents plucked in later rounds, similar to the Jones-Bear 2015 run.
I had Holloway No. 25, Tullio No. 53, Savoie No. 56 and Berezkin No. 122. Math liked the draft based on where Edmonton picked and what was procured. The one exception is Holloway, and Wheeler’s words are a fascinating counterpoint.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we kickstart the weekend on TSN1260. NHL GM meetings start at the same time, if there’s any news on the start of the 2020-21 NHL season we’ll have it live. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will chat World Series, and what are we going to watch between the World Series and the World Juniors? At 11, Matthew Iwanyk will pop in and chat World Series, NFL and Covid-19 worries in regard to Edmonton hosting the WJ’s. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!