Hollowell bounces back from injury
Mac Hollowell’s season was almost over before it began.
The 19-year-old Niagara Falls native suffered a broken leg skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the summer which put his off-season workouts on hold and left some doubt about his career moving forward.
“It set me back a good amount,” Hollowell said this week at Meridian Centre, after the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeated the Niagara IceDogs. “I wasn’t really able to do anything in the summer but as soon as I got cleared to do stuff I really started improving and working in the gym.
“I knew I was a little bit behind the eight-ball but I’ve always been a hard worker so I knew I would get back to where I was.”
Hollowell not only recovered from the injury, but he’s putting together his best season to date in the Ontario Hockey League, with 10 goals and 45 points from the blueline.
“I think it’s going how I hoped they would throughout the summer,” Hollowell said. “I’ve always pictured myself being able to succeed on this team and it’s going well so far.”
Hollowell has been overlooked in the NHL draft to date, but that doesn’t mean he has been forgotten by the scouts.
“In a game where skating has becoming increasingly important, Mac’s quickness and puck moving abilities under pressure will give him a very strong chance to have a successful pro career,” one OHL scout said. “He sees the ice very well and his offensive instincts allow him to use his speed to regularly to join the rush offensively.”
In fact, this particular scout will be pushing for his organization to select Hollowell.
“Expect Mac to go in this year’s draft,” he said. “I could go on for a while about the kid’s character. He’s a real grounded kid with a strong work ethic. Don’t be surprised if he goes between the third and the fifth round.
“If he’s still on the board after that, don’t be surprised if we call his name.”
Hollowell began his junior career with the Niagara Falls Canucks as a 16-year-old. He also got into 11 games with the Greyhounds that season which proved to be very beneficial to his development.
“My 16-year-old year I was up and down. There were a lot of good players like Darnell Nurse and Nick Ritchie, so it was good to come up here and learn and then come back and apply that when I played for the Canucks,” he said.
Hollowell is enjoying playing with the No. 1 team in the country while having his best individual season to date.
“It’s a lot of fun. You’re always playing on a line with someone who knows the game the same as you, so that’s good. Everybody is taking passes tape to tape. It really helps you out there.”
The points are just an added bonus.
“I always liked to do that in my game and now that I’m older I feel more comfortable doing it,” he said.
The Greyhounds appeared primed for an extended playoff run and are favoured to win the Memorial Cup, but Hollowell cautions against getting too wrapped up in that kind of thinking.
“It’s really exciting but we have to keep working and can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” he said.
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