At 22 years old, Detroit Red Wings’ 2015 sixth-round pick Patrick Holway has certainly taken the slow and steady approach to his development. However, after two strong seasons at the University of Maine, that plan changed when Holway stepped away from the program this year due to personal issues that forced him to move closer to his Boston-area home. Holway’s future had been a question mark ever since, but there is finally a next step on the horizon. The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver reports that Holway has committed to Merrimack College next season.
Divver adds that when exactly Holway will get started with the Warriors remains undecided. Generally, the NCAA requires a full year away from the game when transferring schools, especially within an athletic conference – like Holway moving from Maine to Hockey East rival Merrimack. This is why many collegiate players return to the USHL for a season after leaving a program, before jumping back into the college ranks. However, student-athletes may appeal the transfer rules and are frequently successful. Divver reports that Holway currently would not be eligible to suit up for Merrimack until this time next year, midway through the season. However, Holway will appeal to have his absence over the first half of this season count toward his transfer year, making him eligible to join the team next fall when the new season begins.
Either way, Merrimack will get a major boost from adding Holway, who still has two years of eligibility remaining. The 6’4″ blue liner plays a rugged style and can kill penalties and shut down opposing offenses. However, he also has more than a fair bit of finesse to his game and was a crucial piece of the Black Bears’ power play. Last season, Holway registered 19 points in 33 games to lead all Maine defensemen in per-game production. Talented in all three zones, Holway appeared to be trending toward being a capable pro player and the Red Wings hope that this gap year of sorts does not stymie that development. At this rate, Holway likely won’t be joining Detroit until the age of 24, but even as an older prospect should bring promise and could immediately step into a depth role for the organization if he continues to progress at Merrimack.