Left off the U17 camp roster last summer, Dylan Holloway played his way to a pair of international appearances and an opportunity for a third
Dylan Holloway didn’t get an invite to Canada’s national under-17 development camp last summer, but with the camp in his backyard he wasn’t about to let his disappointment get in the way of an opportunity to learn.
"I live 30 minutes away [in Bragg Creek, southwest of Calgary], so I came and watched just to see the competition, and what this was all about,” Holloway says. “It motivated me quite a bit. I understood that I had to get better to be a part of these camps and tournaments, so I just kept working hard.”
Obviously, the hard work paid off.
Fast forward one year, and Holloway is on the ice in Calgary this week, competing at Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp and aiming to crack the Canadian roster for the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which opens Aug. 6 in Edmonton and Red Deer.
What changed? What allowed Holloway to go from the outside looking in at the top 111 players in his age group, to a place as one of the best 44 in the country?
It started early. With the motivation from his U17 snub driving him, the 16-year-old burst onto the scene as an Alberta Junior Hockey League rookie last fall, recording points in 13 of his first 16 games for the first-place Okotoks Oilers.
So when Josh Williams went down with a collarbone injury in practice just days before the start of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, it was Holloway who was selected despite not attending summer camp.