Edmonton Oilers Prospects #12: Dillon SimpsonI don’t think that anyone who watched Dillon Simpson play on a regular basis over the past two year would agree with everything that is written in this article. I also wonder how many games the author actually watched Simpson play. Lets not forget, Dillon came to UND at the ripe old age of 17 playing against older adult players that are in their 20’s.
There was some reflexive complaining about nepotism in Edmonton after they drafted Simpson in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft, but it was largely muted and for good reason: Simpson looks like he’s going to be a player on merit, not just because he happens to share a last name with a former 50-goal scorer.
Simpson played 30 college games in his draft year, scoring twice and adding eight assists, and he built on those totals this year: 42 games played, two goals, and 16 assists for 18 total points. There’s other good news – his role expanded to the point where he was on the ice for both special teams (something that had not happened the year before), he doubled his shot totals over the course of the season, and despite taking on more responsibility he went from plus-11 to plus-10 despite the fact that the team as a whole went from plus-56 to plus-19.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t all good.
The jump in offense, for example, isn’t as spectacular as it sounds. At even-strength over 30 games in 2010-11, Simpson had one goal and six assists. At even-strength over 42 games in 2011-12, he had one goal and six assists. Fully 11 of his 18 points last season came on the power play. How much offense will he bring to the professional level – particularly if he doesn’t end up on the man advantage? It’s unclear but his college numbers to date don’t suggest he’s going to be a dominant force; his point totals are in the same range as recent Oilers college picks Jeff Petry, Cody Wild and Taylor Chorney.
Expectations for 2012-13: Another year at the University of North Dakota could be revealing. With top defender Ben Blood slated to turn pro, there’s room for Simpson to move up the depth chart. It’s reasonable to expect more work at both even-strength and on special teams, and the challenge will be for Simpson to remain a plus player against tougher opposition, and hopefully to deliver something more offensively. [Read the Whole Articled]
I have heard that Simpson like many of his other teammates played a portion of last season injured and that might explain why Simpson’s play might have taken a bit of a dip. I heard that Simpson had played one of the series against the Minnesota Gophers with a significant injury.
Lastly, I think that Dillon Simpson has a great upside and will get better as he matures with age. Simpson will only get better playing against older players.I am also not comfortable with comparing Simpson to the Edmonton Oiler fans favorite whipping boy Taylor Chorney - I think that Simpson in my opinion is much better player with a bigger upside defensively that Chorney.