ABOUT DILLON SIMPSON

Dillon Simpson learns his lessons. If you go back through his scouting reports level by level, things always begin a little rocky and by year two there’s a sense of direction and a more significant role.

DRAFT DAY DOWNERS

 

  • Red Line: Stay at home defencemen with savvy and size. Had trouble getting qualilty icetime as a 17-year-old true freshman on deep, veteran defence corps of top collegiate program, but did show steady progress adjusting to the pace of play against older, stronger opponents.  Sluggish skater with a short stride, but shows good gap control and lateral mobility. Tentative to do anything offensively and always has one foot back on defence. Doesn’t see the ice well and hurries to get the puck off his stick. Makes sharp defensive reads and is rarely out of position. Struggled 1-on-1 in the corners and down log against more physically developed forwards.

This was a 17-year-old defenseman playing in the NCAA—a rare item. Red Line in my estimation are hard markers—if this was my son’s scouting report the air would be turned blue—but they’re fair, and the positives about Simpson (gap control etc) have more iron in them because there’s balance in the report. There’s some tough verbal in there, but also an idea that a player might be there. What more can you expect at No. 92 overall?

FAST FORWARD

  • Coach Dave Hakstol: “He’s only 20 years old, we have freshmen older than him. But it’s really not about the date on your birth certificate, it’s about your level of maturity and your life experiences, your mindset and your ability to be consistent and accountable and do things the right way. I think Dillon is at the highest level of those areas.”

That’s a fantastic report card from a universally respected coach. That kind of recommendation is top drawer.

LAST SPRING IN OKC

 

  • Bruce McCurdy from April 2014: Overall I found myself more impressed with Simpson’s game than with his physical skills. His innate understanding of where to find the “good ice”, to recognize and execute the simple play, and to read opposition threats all scored high. The defender prides himself on his ability to stay out of the penalty box, having taken just 48 penalty minutes in his four years at UND. Still, there’s a lack of physical bite to his game which is bound to alienate a portion of the fanbase should he make it as far as the NHL.”

McCurdy’s a fine observer of the game, and I think his view of Simpson at that time is important—especially as a scene setter for Simpson’s future. There’s a trend in Simpson’s progression:

  • First year (often playing against much older competition) observations talk about overall game, cerebral game, overall ability to play at pace.
  • Second year (often while moving up the depth chart) observations talk about increased maturity and handling all sitations.

2014-15

Simpson had some early struggles in his debut AHL season but the reports had positives sprinkled in (another trend) from the start.

  • Neal Livingston, Tend The Farm early 2014-15: Started solid, but with AHL forwards progressing, and teams gelling, he’s struggled. Has a tendency to be stuck in a puck moving / sturdy defender role. In the end he does neither well – too soft, and not good enough with the puck. Smart player, though, and in time could be a bit more capable (and given better minutes).
  • Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm early  2014-15: Quite good in my opinion. Has had a few mistakes, but nothing horrible. Is usually strong in the D-zone, rarely out of position.
  • Question to Eric Rodgers on the Lowdown August 2015: ‘Which players do you see as having the best chance to be NHL players?” Rodgers named Bogdan Yakimov, Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson.

SUMMARY

In an Oilers prospect universe that includes insane talents, it’s easy to overlook the steady progress of Dillon Simpson. I love watching his progress, because it tells me a lot about the player. Smart, learns his lessons, and when he takes on more responsibility the coach isn’t forced to take it back. One thing I’ve learned over time: In life, you bet on those guys every time. Overcoming obstacles is a big part of any endeavor and learning how to do it is damn near everything.

SIMPSON SCORING

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9 Responses to "ABOUT DILLON SIMPSON"

  1. RexLibris says:

    Red Line in my estimation are hard markers

    No kidding.

    I recall the first time I read their reviews of some Oilers prospects online and I was thinking “what the hell have these guys got against my team?”.

    Good reports though, because they were almost always right.

    Simpson looks to me like a good bet to play a handful of NHL games, have a good AHL career and years from now we’ll be hearing about a whip smart young fellow coaching in the ECHL or some such scenario.

  2. Younger Oil says:

    RexLibris: No kidding.

    I recall the first time I read their reviews of some Oilers prospects online and I was thinking “what the hell have these guys got against my team?”.

    Good reports though, because they were almost always right.

    Simpson looks to me like a good bet to play a handful of NHL games, have a good AHL career and years from now we’ll be hearing about a whip smart young fellow coaching in the ECHL or some such scenario.

    That’s what I’ve always expected as well, especially with the number of LHD that we have.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Simpson has played RD.

  4. goalie1976 says:

    This player has the most value to the Oilers in a trade. He would be a decent sweetener in a deal for a useful asset, preferably sooner than later, as his value may drop with the Barons having better options for playing time this season.

    Sorry Lowetide, I don’t share your optimistic view of this player (soft, no offense). Seems like the type of player that will end up an AHL veteran or in Europe.

  5. wheatnoil says:

    goalie1976:
    This player has the most value to the Oilers in a trade. He would be a decent sweetener in a deal for a useful asset, preferably sooner than later…

    That coach that gave him the glowing reviews is the same Hakstol that is the new coach of the Flyers, no? I’m not sure if the Flyers are a good trade match for the Oilers at this point, but when we discuss potential trades with Philly down the road, it’s worth keeping that connection in mind.

  6. G Money says:

    *** LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT ***

    Where I demand to see less of the Nuge next year.

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/hey-todd-please-play-nuge-less-next-year/

  7. Centre of attention says:

    G Money:
    *** LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT ***

    Where I demand to see less of the Nuge next year.

    I would love to see his even strength minutes get shaved down a minute or so to keep him fresh for the power play and also a healthy dose of PK time. The Nuge was definitely used a bit too much the last year or so especially considering his recent injury history. He is a very important part of this team, and if/when we do make the playoffs in due time I would love for the Nuge to be fresh and healthy at the end of the year.

  8. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    G Money:
    *** LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT ***

    Registered clinical trials make positive findings vanish

    In keeping with this finding, I only believe about 10% of the commonly accepted post hocs (cacpocs?) about the Eakins era, and 0% of what Staples writes comparing Eakins to Krueger, year over year.

    It seems to me that what people claim about the recent past has more to do with how much they wish to claim about the future (even if they’ve learned a hard lesson to mumble much of this privately to themselves) than objective evidence, especially when this evidence leads to the objective view that we’ll never really know.

    Years ago I switched my mouse to the left side of my keyboard, so that my mouse hand could be 6″ closer to home position, putting less strain on my upper arm and shoulder, and slightly reducing my tendency to monoski my sagging seatfoam on one butt cheek.

    After maybe a decade, my left hand is still slower at high-precision mouse work than my right hand at the drop of a pin on no regular practice at all. But 99% of the time my left hand is now fast enough I don’t even notice I’m using my mouse.

    To fully assess whether my performance is improved or degraded by this decision, I have to set the long-term loss of precision against two things: (1) the greater commute of my right hand to the mouse and back (over the home-keys and far away), and (2) all the times I put in a long, hard day coding up an inferior idea—aided by exceptional mouse-hand proficiency—because a perceptible (but unnoticed) difference in chronic back pain caused me to think less effectively.

    It’s not even the case that less back pain due to better mouse ergonomics follows a straight line. What seems to have actually happened is that less pain from bad mouse posture lead me to better recognize other sources of back pain, so that the ultimate return was not realized until the end of a long process.

    Now if your work is so badly impaired in the short term by switching your mouse hand that your back pain flares up to new heights because you end up missing a major deadline, your best intentions are clearly undermined.

    This appears to be what Eakins managed to do.

    After his super-duper defensive-structure deworming pill, our left-handed mouse was constantly addled by bumping into the bog roll mud flap during the first weeks of the season spent with bulging eyes and our copper and blue butt cheeks firmly glued to the U-shaped institutional crapper (somehow “Laurie from Edmonton”‘s unspoken bogging refuge speaks volumes to those in the know).

  9. theres oil in virginia says:

    This is a great writeup, LT. Nice work. It’s like a well-researched mini-thesis.

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