TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 1: DILLON SIMPSON

Last season, the Edmonton Oilers employed 14 defenders—11 of whom played 10 or more games. Injuries were a major factor but we are (once again) likely to see a large number of blue—I am projecting 12 defensemen to at least make an appearance this coming year (nine playing in 10 or more games).

Dillon Simpson lacks one outstanding skill that we can point to, but does seem to have the ability to improve with experience—and deliver better results year over year.

  • Dillon Simpson at 21: 71, 3-14-17 .234 points-per-game
  • Dillon Simpson at 22: 57, 4-16-20 .351 points-per-game

Eric Rodgers gifted us with AHL TOI estimates for Bakersfield along with NHLEs and it gives us a valuable look into exactly where each player ranks in the organization’s estimation.

BAKERSFIELD D ROD

The TOI total is interesting, and deserves some extra attention. It is reasonable to suggest that Jordan Oesterle and Joey Laleggia received power-play minutes and that the other three would have received PK time. Laleggia and Simpson trail in ice time overall, but the even-strength estimates (not available as far as I know) may well be the numbers here—reduced in each case by a couple of special teams minutes per player. Fair? (Oesterle may get more of a PP push, but remember Brad Hunt).

Dillon Simpson will be an RFA next summer—at about the same spot as David Musil this year.

DILLON SIMPSON BAKERSFIELD RE: 65GP, 5-19-24

DILLON SIMPSON NHL RE 15-16: 4GP, 0-0-0

  1. What will his role be in Bakersfield? Increased playing time at even strength and on the PK. Edmonton has (mostly) the usual suspects from a year ago in Bakersfield, but the names above are going to spend more time (collectively) in Edmonton this coming winter than they did one year ago (barring a trade that buggers up my RE).
  2. Where do you project him on the depth chart? My opening night Bakersfield roster features Griffin Reinhart, David Musil, Simpson, Joey Laleggia and Mark Fraser. He will play top 4D with the Condors.
  3. What has changed since his draft day? Most of the men who should have established themselves at the NHL level—Alex Plante, Martin Marincin, David Musil—are either gone from the NHL, playing in other cities or playing alongside Simpson. He hasn’t passed all of them—Marincin would be ahead of Simpson if he was still an Oiler—but there is substantial evidence that Simpson has outlasted a few guys drafted ahead of him. Musil may be the next one.
  4. What does Simpson need to work on? He lacks an area of strength, so he will need to catch a break to get an NHL gig, but there is some evidence (college and pro) that he can grow into a role.
  5. What one thing will get Simpson to the NHL? He is a smart player. No way you get this far in pro sports without a dominant skill unless you adapt and find a way to make your skills fit the template.
  6. Anything else? He seems to progress season over season, with small (but consistent) spikes. His NHLEs since draft day (12, 15, 21, 20, 9—AHL debut—and 14) showed improvement every year in college and now every year pro.
  7. What will keep him out of the NHL? Many things could keep Simpson from the big leagues. He is not a fast player nor a big one, he does not possess a big shot and he has yet to post any giant assist total.
  8. What does his coach say? Gerry Fleming: “Overall, I think Dillon Simpson was our most consistent d-man all year long.” Source
  9. What does that say about all of the other defensemen in Bakersfield? What does that say about all of the other defensmen in Bakersfield?

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41 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 1: DILLON SIMPSON"

  1. Clay says:

    Improvement is all you can ask from long-shot prospects, so good for Simpson. I know we’d all like to see him take bigger steps, but we also know dmen often develop by sundial.

    The most compelling thing for me is to see if the Oilers have the patience to let him continue to develop, or do we see yet another example of the Oilers developing a player for another team.

    My guess is they walk away next year only to have Simpson catch on with Arizona and have a 3 point night the first time he plays in Edmonton.

  2. Chachi says:

    Do the TOI estimates for Laleggia include the games he played as a winger? That might skew his results a bit (i.e you would expect his points to have been boosted a bit by the time he spent playing as a forward). Apologies if this has been asked and answered already in the past.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Chachi:
    Do the TOI estimates for Laleggia include the games he played as a winger? That might skew his results a bit (i.e you would expect his points to have been boosted a bit by the time he spent playing as a forward). Apologies if this has been asked and answered already in the past.

    No, and a great point. I think he played up for just a few games, though.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Needs to keep working and improving and hope he gets noticed like Davidson did and when TMac finally calls your name get noticed for good things and not bad things.

  5. Chachi says:

    Lowetide: No, and a great point. I think he played up for just a few games, though.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=795107

    This makes it sound like it was kind of an on and off thing as needed.

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    From this morning’s thread:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: @NHLbyMatty:
    “Give your head a shake fella. Weber 3rd pairing D in SJ? Braun better than Weber? Ask NHL players if they agree https://t.co/3k8adySXGw”

    You gotta watch out for Matty. I’ve been reading him since before hockey was invented.

    He was aghast a few months ago when someone suggested Johnny Oduya was being carried by his partner. The very same Johnny Oduya who got a CUP RING when he played in Chicago.

    For the same reason, Matty felt that CUP RING wearing Cam Ward was the 2nd best UFA goalie available this summer.

    Similarly, Matty feels that Wins are the most important stat when rating Goalers. In other words, its a travesty that Chris Osgood [also a CUP WINNER] is not in the Hall-of-Fame.

    Kiltymcbagpipes: Some totally dismiss what makes up the core fabric of a hockey player like character, leadership, heart, passion and intimidation. In their minds if it can’t be measured than it is of no value. I hope our wonderful forum here does not develop into the be-all, know-it-all where every argument is pointed to a subjective stat pawned off to make their statement a fact. Analytics is interesting and is still developing but requires a balance with all the other intangibles that have been weighed for 100 years.

    What good is character, leadership, heart, passion and intimidation if it doesn’t result in more shots at net?

  7. Genjutsu says:

    A lot of this reads awfully like what was said about Davidson two years ago.

    Here’s to hoping he can continue to progress like he has thoroughly and like Davidson did and make the jump in a year’s time.

    Zero reason to count him out at this point.

  8. spoiler says:

    Neil Young, live on the BBC in 1971, playing for the “I’m like 80” “Steve Smith”.

    http://societyofrock.com/26-year-old-neil-young-performs-old-man-and-its-absolutely-breathtaking/

  9. Lowetide says:

    I remember when Old Man came out, it sounded too much like heart of gold (which I really liked), so I barely bought the 45 and didn’t listen to it much. 40+ years later, Old Man is one of my favorites and Heart of Gold is a nice song. Funny that.

  10. JDï™ says:

    spoiler,

    Stunning.

  11. judgedrude says:

    Clay: but we also know dmen often develop by sundial.

    Often said…but I think that sundials move too fast. Could we agree that something like the 11-year Solar Sunspot Cycle (5+ years to peak, and then downhill) is closer to the truth?

    Then we can say, “Defensemen develop by the Sunspot Cycle or Solar Activity Cycle (SAC)” and “Edmonton is just coming out of the Maunder Minimum.”

  12. square_wheels says:

    spoiler,

    Made my day. Brilliant.

  13. LadiesloveSmid says:

    VAN has Tanev and Gudbranson at 1RD and 2RD, recently signed Stecher out of ND. Is their RD chart deep enough to consider moving Jordan Subban? They moved Baertschi and Shinkaruk to Calgary.

  14. unca miltie says:

    Just happened to look t the comment section at the subban story at CBC.ca. saw this: 
    Nail Yakupov

    Good man, PK. Never stop being you.

  15. LadiesloveSmid says:

    unca miltie,

    he also comments “Great! More ice time for Yakupov” on the Hall trade article. Imposter!

  16. Chachi says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    VAN has Tanev and Gudbranson at 1RD and 2RD, recently signed Stecher out of ND. Is their RD chart deep enough to consider moving Jordan Subban? They moved Baertschi and Shinkaruk to Calgary.

    I love this idea. He would fit nicely as a RH 3rd pairing D and PP specialist. Cannot imagine he would be prohibitively expensive to acquire asset wise. It would be like picking up a pocket-PK.

  17. spoiler says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    I think we have to be very careful when using advanced stats to say “Player A is clearly better at the hockey than Player B”.

    And even more careful when that comparison is across different teams.

    The Woodmoney (https://twitter.com/CtrlPPress/with_replies) stats will help in that regard but comparing two players from the same band is still fraught with peril.

    I think most of the Corsiatti is aware of the limitations… or at least those that generate the stats are. But the rest of us have to be careful about sweeping generalizations and using the stats like a categorical hammer.

    That said, it doesn’t excuse Kilty from bringing up the same tired canards against advanced stats that we have been responding to here, and elsewhere, for going on ten years now. The exact same canards. I find myself unwilling to engage these days, rehashing the same old arguments over and over, and more willing to just scroll blithely past the posts of those who don’t get it.

  18. Bling says:

    Another guy who didn’t have a stand-out skill in the A and ended up being our most effective D last season (Klef excluded): Brandon Davidson.

    Simpson’s boxcars are better than Davidson’s were, and that quote from his coach is a tell.

    Do we have any reports on how his outlet passing is?

  19. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    From this morning’s thread:

    You gotta watch out for Matty.I’ve been reading him since before hockey was invented.

    He was aghast a few months ago when someone suggested Johnny Oduya was being carried by his partner.The very same Johnny Oduya who got a CUP RING when he played in Chicago.

    For the same reason, Matty felt thatCUP RING wearing Cam Ward was the 2nd best UFA goalie available this summer.

    Similarly, Matty feels that Wins are the most important stat when rating Goalers.In other words, its a travesty that Chris Osgood [also a CUP WINNER] is not in the Hall-of-Fame.

    Yeah I have only recently started following most Oiler writers on Twitter. Admittedly, I never saw a point of Twitter until a buddy of mine last year started giving me all the rumours via Twitter he heard it drove me nuts now that’s all I do is follow NHL and NFL related content. Matty is fun to read sometimes I don’t mind him, in fact there is only one guy I really dislike to the point I removed him. His name rhymes with Don Phyllis. Too much doom and gloom for my liking.

    Just started following @KurtLeavens seems like a decent dude.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Kurt is a great guy, really nice chap. Matty has wobbly moments, but I am very disturbed by the number of comments that are rude and or cruel about, or to him. Shame on people for that. Seriously.

  21. rich says:

    Will agree with Leadfarmer, Bling and Genjutsu’s comments above.

    When the Oiler’s actually take the time to properly develop a player, nice things are possible. Davidson is one, and I’m rooting for Simpson to be the next one to follow in this path.

    Showed real nice progression at UND, and now is doing it again in the AHL. Nothing earth shattering, but steady under the radar improvement. Will take a few more just like like him.

  22. G Money says:

    Some cheap ‘n’ cheerful visualizations, whatcha think?

    Larsson: http://i.imgur.com/R826nfX.png

    Davidson: http://i.imgur.com/4a2cWVl.png

    Reinhart: http://i.imgur.com/x9xRbZu.png

  23. G Money says:

    I need to stop using red and green, don’t I?

  24. wheatnoil says:

    G Money:
    Some cheap ‘n’ cheerful visualizations, whatcha think?

    Larsson: http://i.imgur.com/R826nfX.png

    Davidson: http://i.imgur.com/4a2cWVl.png

    Reinhart: http://i.imgur.com/x9xRbZu.png

    You’re suggesting Latsson has a massive difference in his DFA/60 vs his CA/60 afainst elite competition. He tends to let up a lot of shot attempts but they tend to be low probability of scoring?

    And Davidson is manna from heaven?

  25. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    I’m not suggesting, I’m only the #WoodMoney messenger.

    But yes.

    And yes.

  26. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Some cheap ‘n’ cheerful visualizations, whatcha think?

    Larsson: http://i.imgur.com/R826nfX.png

    Davidson: http://i.imgur.com/4a2cWVl.png

    Reinhart: http://i.imgur.com/x9xRbZu.png

    I would like to propose to Danger Fen. Where is she?

  27. wheatnoil says:

    G Money:
    wheatnoil,

    I’m not suggesting, I’m only the #WoodMoney messenger.

    But yes.

    And yes.

    I also like the visualizations. I think the last graph with 4 lines is a little tough to read in that it took me a few looks to figure out what it wa telling me, but overall the presentation looks solid to me.

  28. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    You have to look in your heart to find her, for only there does she dwell.

    wheatnoil,

    It’s a first cut. I can make each little chart it’s own thing, but to keep the charts to a minimum (remember the problem with the axes being common, so putting the Rel on the % chart is problematic) I put all the Rels together. Going to have to think of a better way to show that maybe. Suggestions welcome!

  29. wheatnoil says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    You have to look in your heart to find her, for only there does she dwell.

    wheatnoil,

    It’s a first cut. I can make each little chart it’s own thing, but to keep the charts to a minimum (remember the problem with the axes being common, so putting the Rel on the % chart is problematic) I put all the Rels together.Going to have to think of a better way to show that maybe.Suggestions welcome!

    The RelComp is the most interesting to me. Maybe those alone are enough? Others may not agree though. For me, though, I can find their Corsi-Rel elsewhere. If I’m looking at this particular visualization, I really want to know what the Rel is compared to others playing that category.

    Also, is that relative to team or to all players against that comp?

  30. Barcs says:

    BLH article published tonight suggesting Yak to FLA for Alex Petrovic, then Oilers sign Brandon Pirri.

    http://www.beerleagueheroes.com/oilers-talking-panthers-yak-moving/

    Personally, as much as I love Yak, I would be alright with it. Florida would be a good landing spot for Yak, and he would have Jagr to show him some things.

    Petrovic sounds like an interesting player, a physical defenseman with a good outlet pass. I have next to zero first hand knowledge, other than that he is from Edmonton. He’s very cheap too, at just a shade over 1 million with one year remaining.

    I’m interested in Brandon Pirri. I believe a one shot scorer would be a very good fit with all of our playmakers, and he could very well come cheap on a one year deal.

    Two questions for the group:

    1) If a player’s contract expires at the end of 16-17, they are ineligible to be drafted by Las Vegas if they are a UFA. Is this still the case for players that will become RFA’s like Yak and Petrovic?

    2) Can Pirri play RW?

  31. Genjutsu says:

    Barcs:
    BLH article published tonight suggesting Yak to FLA for Alex Petrovic, then Oilers sign Brandon Pirri.

    http://www.beerleagueheroes.com/oilers-talking-panthers-yak-moving/

    Personally, as much as I love Yak, I would be alright with it. Florida would be a good landing spot for Yak, and he would have Jagr to show him some things.

    Petrovic sounds like an interesting player, a physical defenseman with a good outlet pass. I have next to zero first hand knowledge, other than that he is from Edmonton. He’s very cheap too, at just a shade over 1 million with one year remaining.

    I’m interested in Brandon Pirri. I believe a one shot scorer would be a very good fit with all of our playmakers, and he could very well come cheap on a one year deal.

    Two questions for the group:

    1) If a player’s contract expires at the end of 16-17, they are ineligible to be drafted by Las Vegas if they are a UFA. Is this still the case for players that will become RFA’s like Yak and Petrovic?

    2) Can Pirri play RW?

    1 if they say to become a UFA they are not eligible.

    2 Pirri plays all forward positions. However he is a LHS and is in no way considered a two way player. All bat, no glove and primarily effective as a LW.

  32. Revolved says:

    I know it has been pointed out many times, but the comparison between Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson is quite striking.

    Davidson is 1.5 years older (drafted #162 in 2010) than Simpson (drafted #92 in 2011)

    Davidson is 6’2, 209, while Simpson is 6’1, 194

    Both were captain of their team the year before entering the AHL

    In the AHL, Davidson went 181GP: 12G 25A = 37P (0.204PPG) +7

    In the AHL, Simpson has gone 138GP: 7G 30A = 37P (0.268PPG) +10

    But, how does Simpson get the opportunity that Davidson got this year, next year? How does Chiarelli get value for so many unproven LHD prospects? Simpson absolutely must get a few games in the NHL this year, and low level trades need to start happening. Are there any teams out there with an equally heavy right hand side that we could make some swaps with?

  33. Genjutsu says:

    Revolved:
    I know it has been pointed out many times, but the comparison between Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson is quite striking.

    Davidson is 1.5 years older (drafted #162 in 2010) than Simpson (drafted #92 in 2011)

    Davidson is 6’2, 209, while Simpson is 6’1, 194

    Both were captain of their team the year before entering the AHL

    In the AHL, Davidson went 181GP: 12G 25A = 37P (0.204PPG) +7

    In the AHL, Simpson has gone 138GP: 7G 30A = 37P (0.268PPG) +10

    But, how does Simpson get the opportunity that Davidson got this year, next year? How does Chiarelli get value for so many unproven LHD prospects? Simpson absolutely must get a few games in the NHL this year, and low level trades need to start happening. Are there any teams out there with an equally heavy right hand side that we could make some swaps with?

    I’m not of the opinion Davidson “got an opportunity”.

    Davidson worked hard and developed as an athlete to the point where his post dictated in training camp that he makes the club or they would have lost him via waivers.

    Here forced his way on. The old fashioned way.

    It’s been a remarkable story so far, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

  34. Pouzar says:

    Revolved:
    I know it has been pointed out many times, but the comparison between Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson is quite striking.

    Davidson is 1.5 years older (drafted #162 in 2010) than Simpson (drafted #92 in 2011)

    Davidson is 6’2, 209, while Simpson is 6’1, 194

    Both were captain of their team the year before entering the AHL

    In the AHL, Davidson went 181GP: 12G 25A = 37P (0.204PPG) +7

    In the AHL, Simpson has gone 138GP: 7G 30A = 37P (0.268PPG) +10

    But, how does Simpson get the opportunity that Davidson got this year, next year? How does Chiarelli get value for so many unproven LHD prospects? Simpson absolutely must get a few games in the NHL this year, and low level trades need to start happening. Are there any teams out there with an equally heavy right hand side that we could make some swaps with?

    Good one.

    I follow the Condors and knew Davidson was doing good things. However when I saw him live in a preseason game here in WPG last year I was absolutely floored at what I saw. He looked like a 10 yr vet that always made the right play with the puck and his positioning was stellar. I’m not one of these negative Nellys that say “it’s only preseason blah blah blah”. The guy showed me something that game. I love live viewing from the cheap seats, you can see everything. Best way to evaluate D-men especially imo.

  35. Revolved says:

    Genjutsu,

    Although I agree that Davidson earned his spot, if Marincin had still been an Oiler it would have likely resulted in Davidson being on waivers. Everyone needs an opportunity to show what they’ve got in the big show.

  36. GCW_69 says:

    Genjutsu: I’m not of the opinion Davidson “got an opportunity”.

    Davidson worked hard and developed as an athlete to the point where his post dictated in training camp that he makes the club or they would have lost him via waivers.

    Here forced his way on. The old fashioned way.

    It’s been a remarkable story so far, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Davidson was helped by weaker competition for the spot he was competing for (Nikitin, Ference, rookie nurse) and injury. Simpson should be focused on playing RD if he wants to get the same opportunity to force his way on. Unless of course the expansion draft costs the Oilers Davidson.

  37. Genjutsu says:

    GCW_69: Davidson was helped by weaker competition for the spot he was competing for (Nikitin, Ference, rookie nurse) and injury.Simpson should be focused on playing RD if he wants to get the same opportunity to force his way on.Unless of course the expansion draft costs the Oilers Davidson.

    There’s a lot of track between here and there. Davidson played both sides as Simpson and Musil have been doing.

    You kind of have to with the lack of RHS D in the system.

  38. Oilspill says:

    Sadly Montreal analytics guru got his ass fired for calling Shea Weber average. What a fn idiot.

  39. frjohnk says:

    Oilspill:
    Sadly Montreal analytics guru got his ass fired for calling Shea Weber average. What a fn idiot.

    He wasn’t wrong about the trade.
    Terrible trade for Montreal.

    And I say that being a huge Weber fan.

    I’d rather have Weber on my team today but if you factor in contract and the fact Webers is an albatross at the end, Montreal loses hands down.

  40. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Oilspill,

    frjohnk,

    I’m not so sure. I get the sense he got fired for being 21 and acting like it. The way he has talked in the media lacks the political accumen that most teams expect from their management staff. He’s starting to tone it down now, but that’s because he wants another job.

    This isn’t a defense of Montreal management. I don’t think they do a good job. I’m just saying I don’t think they fired the guy because he disagreed with them, based on my limited viewings of his behavior.

  41. Genjutsu says:

    frjohnk: He wasn’t wrong about the trade.
    Terrible trade for Montreal.

    And I say that being a huge Weber fan.

    I’d rather have Weber on my team today but if you factor in contract and the fact Webers is an albatross at the end, Montreal loses hands down.

    I’m not sure that’s the case of you look at the cap hit versus real dollars spend at the end of the contract. Weber will have value to a cap floor team down the road.

    Montreal will only have trouble getting rid of that contract if there are no teams in the NHL that won’t be looking for help reaching the cap floor.

    That’s very unlikely IMO.

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