Oilers Forward Dylan Holloway Needs Another Year In The Minors

The Oilers 2020 first round pick Dylan Holloway has been “okay” to put it lightly this season. He hasn’t made an immediate offensive impact like some if not most fans expected going into the new year, but he has been able to keep up and keep himself in the bottom six.

After making his debut in the Western Conference Finals last season, Oilers fans and management alike expected him to have a strong start to his career playing in the top 9, likely alongside one of McDavid or Draisaitl. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown he’s ready to be that offensive threat just yet. With that being said, his defensive game looks solid, his stride looks smooth and his hockey IQ is clearly higher than many expected coming in. The issue is, he only has two points through the first 13 games this season.

Holloway will be a goal scorer on the Oilers for years to come, there is no doubt in my mind about that. But, the best way to get him ready for that role is to boost his confidence and play a bigger role in Bakersfield. Sending him down won’t hurt his development, and may actually help it a lot more in the long run. I was one of many fans that wanted him in the lineup full time this season, and was amongst the few that said he could have a Calder Trophy caliber year.

That’s not gonna happen. He’s only going to play in the bottom six for the rest of the season with Evander Kane out with an injury, so sending him down sooner than later gives him an opportunity to be a leader in the AHL. I can see him averaging over a point per game in the minors and once he does that for almost a full season, I think fans will be happy to see how much he’s changed and how much more confident he is.

You can’t rush a talent like Dylan Holloway. His skill is incredible and he’s going to be a stud in this league, it’s just moving a little fast for him and he hasn’t made the most of his chances in the top six. A lot of guys don’t, no harm no foul, but it’s time to send him down to develop for one more year.