Monday, August 26, 2013

UND Hockey: Dillon Simpson Sleeper Prospect for Edmonton Oilers

Here’s what the Edmonton Journal had to say about UND senior defenseman Dillon Simpson.
Edmonton Oilers Prospects: #7 Dillon Simpson
Jonathan Willis, Edmonton Journal – Dillon Simpson was a good enough player to contribute in college hockey’s toughest conference, the WCHA, at the age of 17. For the sake of perspective, current Oiler Jeff Petry was two years away from college at that point, still playing in the USHL. Since his draft year, Simpson has seemingly made steady progress in all areas of his game.

The statistics at the college level don’t tell us a lot about a defenceman, but we’ll start there. Once again Simpson was highly reliant on the power play for his offence – 14 of 24 points came with the man advantage. After scoring seven points at even-strength as a rookie and seven last year, he upped his production to 10 points this year – not bad, but hardly breathtaking. He’s been a reliable plus player on a good team, though his plus-5 rating this year (against the backdrop of a team that went plus-29) was less impressive than last year, perhaps reflecting more challenging assignments.

Of interest is the fact that Simpson’s penalty minutes are consistently low. On the one hand, it reflects a defender who relies more on positional play than physical game to shutdown opposition forwards; on the other, it also shows a player who isn’t trying to cover for poor positioning by clutching and grabbing. Simpson told Copper & Blue’s Alan Hull that positioning has always been something he placed great emphasis on, because with middling foot speed he wasn’t fast enough to recover if he got himself in a bad spot:
Also, former MTU forward Jujhar Khaira has moved up the ladder in the Edmonton Oilers system.