Often in the confines of Western Hockey League team’s protected lists are players brimming with potential, but committed to college and reluctant to commit to playing junior hockey. There are a few players that fit that profile on the Everett Silvertips’ list, but perhaps none more enticing than Dylan Holloway.
The Silvertips cut bait on the highly touted forward on Friday, trading the University of Wisconsin signee to Winnipeg for a fifth-round draft pick in 2021, a conditional first-round pick in 2021 and a conditional second-round pick in 2022. Both conditional picks are contingent on Holloway signing a WHL standard player agreement.
“First of all, he indicated to us that he wasn’t going to come our way,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. “We looked at other things that might stimulate his interest in coming to the league, and Winnipeg was very interested. They think they have an angle of coming after him. We weren’t having any luck, so we thought maybe somebody else could attract him and recruit him.”
On the surface, this is a low-risk, high-reward trade from the Silvertips’ perspective. It was becoming more and more unlikely he would sign with Everett, and the Silvertips add draft capital if Winnipeg convinces Holloway to come. The Silvertips will get a pair of picks in the first and second rounds if the conditional picks are sent over.
Recruiting Holloway to the WHL may prove difficult immediately. Todd Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal reported via Twitter on Friday that Holloway still plans on attending Wisconsin in the fall.
Dylan Holloway just got back to me to say he'll be playing with the #Badgers in the fall.
With that, please resume your Friday.
— Todd Milewski (@ToddMilewski) June 14, 2019
Even after Holloway enrolls at Wisconsin, the Ice could coax him to the WHL, similar to Kiefer Bellows joining Portland for the 2017-2018 season after playing his freshman year at Boston University. Holloway’s signature will trigger both conditional picks being sent to Everett, no matter when he signs.
“I don’t think anyone thinks it’s over the top if he comes, because he’s a heckuva player,” Davidson said.
This isn’t the first time Winnipeg has gambled on a highly touted, college-bound prospect. The Ice selected Matthew Savoie, regarded as a sensational talent and projected to land in the top five of the 2022 NHL draft. He committed to the University of Denver, but Winnipeg signed him anyway on Thursday.
Holloway, 17, posted 88 points (40 goals, 48 assists) in 53 games for the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey league (AJHL), a tier below the WHL, earning Canadian Junior Hockey League player of the year honors. He’s played internationally several times for Hockey Canada, collecting two goals and four points during the International Ice Hockey Federation under-18 World Championships and registering three points for Canada during last summer’s under-18 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.
The Calgary, Alberta, native was picked in the sixth round of the 2016 WHL bantam draft and is expected to be a first-round selection in the 2020 NHL draft.
Gudas on the move
Former Silvertips import defenseman Radko Gudas was traded Friday morning from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Matt Niskanen.
Gudas chipped in 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) for the Flyers this year. The Prague, Czechoslovakia, native scored seven goals with 30 assists in his lone season in Everett in 2009-2010.
Tuulola inks deal
Eetu Tuulola signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames on Friday. A sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft, Tuulola compiled 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) for the Silvertips in 2016-2017 before pivoting to professional hockey in Finland. His team, HPK Hameenlinnan, won the Finnish League championship this season, with Tuulola chipping in six points (three goals, three assists) over the 18-game playoff run.
Silvertips release preseason schedule
Everett announced its preseason schedule on Thursday, featuring six total games and three home contests. Everett will again host the Everett preseason classic during Labor Day weekend and will travel up to Langley for a preseason tournament Sept. 7 and 8.
Full schedule (opponent, time and date, location):
vs. Tri-City, 7 p.m. Aug. 30, Angel of the Winds Arena
vs. Spokane, 7 p.m. Aug. 31, Angel of the Winds Arena
vs. Seattle, 7 p.m. Sept. 1, Angel of the Winds Arena
vs. Kelowna, 4 p.m. Sept. 7, Langley Events Center (Langley, B.C.)
vs. Victoria, 1 p.m. Sept. 8, Langley Events Center
at Seattle, 7:05 p.m. Sept. 10, accesso ShoWare Center