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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Special Request

I received a special request from blog reader Aaron A. about the progress of LA Kings draft picks Thomas Hickey and Bud Holloway.

If regular blog readers want to comment on my thoughts please do so. Please do not interpret my opinions as that of a real NHL scout, these are merely based on my observations.

Thomas Hickey

Thomas Hickey has enjoyed a solid season as the Captain of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Hickey has excellent character as a leader and player and leads by example on the ice. It is a tremendous honor that he was named Captain of the Thunderbirds as an 18 year old player.


Skating ability - Hickey is one of the smoothest skating defencemen in the league. He rarely puts his team in bad situations and rarely makes poor decisions with the puck and is reflected by his +17 rating. Hickey is also an excellent passer and has the ability to move the puck out of the back end and up to the forwards. He has also used his skating ability numerous times to take the puck end to end and create chances for his teammates. Hickey possesses an above average shot from the point and while it isn't as hard as teammate Sena Acolatse's it is more accurate and Hickey knows how to put the puck on net in good ways. Hickey rarely takes bad penalties and plays a ton of minutes.


While Hickey does have more goals this season (10) than in the previous campaign (9), his overall scoring is down this season. Hickey got off to a fast start this season totaling 12 points on 5 goals and 7 assists in the teams first 12 games. This makes his decline in point production even more surprising. Factoring into his point production could be several things including his participation in the World Junior Tournament and/or the emergence of scoring from a more diverse group of Thunderbirds in the 07-08 season.

Hickey must also improve on his ability to produce when opposing skaters make him the target of added physical play. Many times this year teams have gone out of their way to rough him up and at times I think it has affected his production at the offensive end.

Bud Holloway

Bud Holloway has already achieved a career high in goals this season with 35 and will soon set a new career high in assists (38) as he has 37 through 63 games.


Holloway has solid skating ability and has played a prominent role on both Seattle's Power Play (7 PP G's) and Penalty Killing (3 SH goals) units. Holloway also possesses excellent character and is looked to as a leader of the club and would likely be a Captain without the presence of Thomas Hickey. Holloway is an effort guy who often scores and sets up offensive opportunities with his sheer will and determination. He also has a very accurate shot which is backed up by the team leading 35 goals. He also is not afraid to mix it up a little bit and has been in two fights this season. He has also improved his overall +/- to +32 this season.


Holloway, while certainly a good skater, does not possess the same kind of raw speed as fellow NHL draft pick Jim O'Brien and would certainly benefit from a little additional speed. At 6'1", Holloway is not the biggest player around and will need to rely on strength and speed at the next level.

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