June 13, 2024

The 22-year-old Calgary native was back in the lineup against his home team on Saturday after being recently recalled from their American Hockey League affiliate in Bakersfield, California. The Oilers’ 3-1 victory was their 13th straight, setting an NHL record for Canadian clubs.

Having been called upon to center the fourth line between Connor Brown and Sam Gagner, Holloway helped set up Gagner’s game-winning goal early in the third period.

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“I thought his performance was excellent. Before the Oilers’ game against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, head coach Kris Knoblauch noted, “I thought he played a really good game; it was his first NHL game playing center.” Additionally, timing can be challenging when it comes to defensive readings, breakouts, and responsibilities. He did an amazing job, in my opinion, all over the rink.

“Offensively, he set up Connor Brown in the first period and (Cody) Ceci in the second. He also created several scoring opportunities and was on the ice for the game-winning goal. He performed some really lovely plays, and we were quite pleased with it.

As Holloway makes his comeback to an Oilers team that is currently blazing hot, his first priority is to make sure he doesn’t unintentionally screw around with the well-oiled machinery.

“It’s pretty cool. Obviously, it’s kind of an honour to be part of history,” Holloway said. “I know I wasn’t really involved in most of the games, but just to be part of it in the last game there was really special. It was really cool.

The most important thing, I suppose, is to try to stay out of the way. I don’t want to do something that would upset anyone because the team is now playing really well.

Holloway was swapped with James Hamblin, who was sent back down to the Bakersfield Condors. It’s his first bit of action since suffering a lower-body injury on Nov. 13. “It’s definitely hard coming back after injury, especially being off for two months, but coming back in the game I was confident in my ability,” Holloway said. “I felt even though I was out for a while, I was still trying to get better and I still feel like I improved over that time.

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