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Top 25 Under 25 - #12 Dillon Simpson

Dillon Simpson is divisive, but he still moved up three spots in the Top 25 Under 25

Scott opened his writeup on Dillon Simpson by calling him divisive within the fanbase:

Dillon Simpson is one of the more divisive prospects in the system right now. There are some people who have him very high on the list, while others wonder what the fuss is about.

And noted that it extended to the writers as well. That division remains. Simpson is the most disagreed upon player in the top 18 in our writer's poll, and no player in the top 19 was disagreed upon more by the fans in the fan vote.

While Simpson continues to grow at North Dakota, the fans continue to bicker about what Dillon Simpson means to the Oilers' organization.

Rank Player DOB Drafted Alan
Jon Michael Ryan Scott
12 Dillon Simpson
2011, #92 12 13 15 11 10 13 17 12 11

Previous Rank: 15

Alan moved him up 9 spots, Jon moved him up 8 spots, DB moved him up 7, Bruce moved him up 4 spots, I moved him up 2 to the top 10, Scott moved him up a spot, and Ben and Ryan left him in place.

Michael had him ranked lower than anyone and offered up his reasoning:

I don't have anything really negative to say about Dillon Simpson. He's a slightly below average sized defenceman that is showing offensive ability in his junior year of college with North Dakota. He's ranked 31st among defencemen in the NCAA in points per game average with 0.63. That's a fairly impressive showing for a 20 year old junior, though the other players in that neighbourhood are either undrafted or similarly-positioned draft picks. A truly high end pick like Jacob Trouba is 0.79 PPG, while another Oilers draft choice in LaLeggia has 0.81 PPG. So he's doing well, but not blowing any doors off. I just think that a player like Kyle Bigos and his 56 extra pounds and still decent 0.44 PPG has a slightly better shot at playing NHL games.

Michael makes a salient point - Simpson is not producing points. But at the same time, Dillon Simpson turned 20 just two weeks ago. Michael's Oilers' comparables, Joey Laleggia (20 years, 8 months) and Kyle Bigos (23 years, 9 months) are older, and in Bigos' case much older than Simpson. Yes, Laleggia has more points, but he's also -3 on a +42 team, on the second pairing while Simpson is +3 on a +85 team on the second pairing. We've hashed and re-hashed the argument over Simpson since he made his debut on the Top 25 Under 25, but it comes down to development vs. age.

If Simpson stays healthy, he will end the season with between 110 and 115 games played in the best conference in the NCAA by the age of 20 years and not quite two months. In his 18 and 19 year-old seasons, he played what amounts to a #3 role on the defensive depth chart. He's got a solid NHLE for a developmental prospect. He's a solid power play performer and he's a smart, reliable defender who is only improving:

I certainly feel like the coaches have a lot more faith in me this year and I’ve started getting some of the tougher assignments. I’ve been used in more situations including time against the oppositions top lines and others as well, but for me I certainly feel a lot for comfortable and a lot more confident going out there, particularly in my own zone.

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