Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn via US Presswire
Dillon Simpson came in at #17 in our Top 25 Under 25 and in that update, Scott noted:
Simpson still hasn't turned 19, and yet he's having a great season in the NCAA at the University of North Dakota, which is one of the nation's best programs in one of the nation's best Conferences. He has 13 points in 26 games and leads the team in +/- at +10. That kind of success in the NCAA at such a young age is very encouraging.
Simpson, a Sophmore, was again the Sioux's youngest defender. He will play the majority of his Junior season as a 19-year old, yet his results are in line with a much older player:
Simpson was second on the team in +/-, second in shots (though he was on the first power play) and fourth in blocked shots.
Underlying all of this is an assessment of Simpson's playing time, given to us by Jayson Hajdu, SID at North Dakota:
He had been on the top pairing with Ben Blood for a stretch. When Derek Forbort returned to the lineup last week they shuffled the pairings and Dillon went to the second pairing with Nick Mattson. Dillon and Mattson also currently anchor the first PP unit.
Simpson beat top-pairing and second-pairing minutes in a very tough league, on a defense that featured four other drafted players and did so at a very young age. In a 2011 re-draft, Simpson might go 50 spots higher - he's outperforming everyone's expectations.