The signing of Dillon Simpson appears imminent, and it’s a big damn deal. If you look at the Oilers depth chart, and ask yourself how they’ll acquire established talent this summer, the answer is trading young defensemen.
Dillon Simpson is not an offensive defender but he can move the puck and was employed on the UND power play. Oiler fans should expect more of a ‘defense-first’ type as described in this recent game summary:
- Dillon Simpson’s final game for North Dakota was one for the ages. He was huge, and I’m not just talking about the two back door plays he broke up. He also blocked two shots, played a ton of minutes, and assisted on Connor Gaarder’s game-tying goal.
Simpson is a LH defender and based on his progress in the NCAA I’ll be fascinated to see how much time he spends in the minor leagues. Edmonton has drafted several college men over the years and they don’t spend a lot of time in the minors. Matt Greene (26 games), Tom Gilbert (48 games) and Jeff Petry (49 games) spent less than a season in the minors—and it’s reasonable to assume Simpson will be pushing for NHL time in the next 12 months.
It sounds like negotiations are going well, as indicated by Craig Simpson (Dillon’s Dad) at the Edmonton Oilers site:
- “I know that they’re talking anyways and I think Scott Howson and Dillon and his agent are discussing. The big thing this week for Dillon because they’ve missed so much school, is to check with the academic advisors to make sure that he can get his degree with the couple of courses that he has left to finish. I know that he’s obviously excited about and was when he got drafted, about being a member of the Edmonton Oilers and I’m sure that will come fairly quickly.”
In December, ranked the Oilers prospect blue thusly:
- #1 Darnell Nurse
- #2 Oscar Klefbom
- #3 Martin Marincin
- #8 Dillon Simpson
- #9 Martin Gernat
- #13 Taylor Fedun
- #14 David Musil
- #19 Erik Gustafsson
- #22 Brandon Davidson
- #26 Brad Hunt
- #29 Joey Laleggia
- #33 Ben Betker
The Oilers have LH defender Andrew Ference signed through 2017, and of course all of Marincin, Klefbom and Nurse are lefties too. I think Dillon Simpson will be pushing for NHL employment sooner than later, and Craig MacTavish may end up trading one of the other youngsters in order to add a major piece.
If they move Marincin in a deal for a more established NHL defender, the Oilers will still have Klefbom, Nurse and Simpson at the ready. When we’re discussing that three for one deal, the signing of Simpson should improve the argument.