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#20 - Dillon Simpson

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He slid down the rankings from last year, but he's holding on.

Former NHL player Craig Simpson and son 92nd overall pick Dillon Simpson by the Edmonton Oilers pose for a photo during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Former NHL player Craig Simpson and son 92nd overall pick Dillon Simpson by the Edmonton Oilers pose for a photo during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Dillon Simpson comes in ranked 20th in this years Top 25 Under 25. 

C&B Rankings:

Ben

Curtis

Jeff

Matt

Ryan

Scott

Shona

Sunil

Zsolt

Zach

22

23

18

23

21

25

15

25

17

21

Last years rank: 14

Who is Dillon Simpson?

As a 2011 fourth round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, Simpson comes from a strong hockey background with his father being none other than Oilers Alumi Craig Simpson.

During his time in the NCAA, Simpson was once named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) First All-Star Team in 2013-2014, twice named to the WCHA All-Academic Team in 2011-2012 and again in 2012-2013. On top of that, he helped lead the North Dakota Fighting Sioux to two WCHA Championships.

Although he only has one season of pro hockey under his belt, Simpson has done much to impress during his tenure in Oklahoma City. During his 71 games played (2nd on the team), he saw approximately 16 minutes of time on ice which shows that he was playing in a limited role, and mainly on the 3rd pairing. Former OKC Baron's insider Eric Rodgers had this to say of Simpson's first pro season:

[His role is] mainly stay-at-home. Plays well at even strength (+4 – Klefbom and Davidson were the only ones to have better even strength margins at +10 each), has an active stick, but maybe needs some work with positioning with the PK (gave up the most PK goals against among defensemen with the Barons last season).

Never saw Dillon get agitated or go out of his way to make a check. Calm and composed is very much his demeanor all the time.

I think Simpson may have another year before he gets to the NHL. Played well, had mostly good positioning, but he needs a little seasoning. I think he’ll mainly be battling with Musil for 2nd pairing time next season.

As Rogers said, I am one as well who believes that Simpson will be in need of more seasoning before having a chance to crack the big leagues. Unfortunately for him however, he is faced with the daunting task of outperforming other Oilers defensive prospects like Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson, Jordan Oesterle and Martin Gernat.

All of these defencemen mentioned above are within four years of age (20 to 24), and are all at similar points in their development. If Simpson wants to step ahead of any of these players, he will need to prove his worth over the next two years as his entry level contract expires in 2016 - 2017.

To an extent, Simpson falls under the category of "who knows". He is certainly a player to keep an eye on and he has some potential to develop into a bottom pairing NHL defenceman. Will he become an NHL'er? Who knows. At this point in time, I think it is fair to say that waiting another two years of AHL hockey under his belt will allow for us to get a better reading on the type of player Simpson is at the pro-level, and whether or not players like Davidson, Oesterle and Gernat are still in the picture.

Who knows, he could blow everyone's socks off.