Coming in at #14 on FN’s Top Prospects of 2016 is a center: Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets, a second round selection (56th overall) of the Flames in this past draft.
A brief history
Dube, standing 5’11 and weighing 186 pounds, is a product of Cochrane, AB (the first of two Calgary area-born WHLers that the Flames drafted in 2016 – the other being Matt Phillips). He registered 66 points in 65 games this past year with the Rockets (NHLE of 22).
Dube is noted mostly for his offensive ability, possessing a very good shot. He also has excellent speed and balance and has the ability to create off the rush. Oh – and he loves scoring goals. On the other hand, scouts note that he needs a lot of work in the d-zone and is an inconsistent player.
Goals: 26 (6th)
Points: 66 (6th)
G/GP: 0.4 (5th)
Primary Points/GP: 0.82 (4th)
Points/GP: 1.01 (4th)
ES Points/GP: 0.93 (3rd)
Comparing Dube to his first-year draft-eligible peers in the WHL (above), he finished in the top six in every notable offensive category.
Dube finished third in scoring on the Rockets behind Tyson Baillie and Justin Kirkland (both 20-year-olds). In terms of first-time draft-eligible Rockets players, Dube finished 20 points higher than the next closest player. Of Dube’s 66 points, only 18 were registered on the powerplay (27%) which is a great ratio (30%-40% is typical of point-per-game junior players). Kelowna was the fourth highest scoring team in the WHL and Dube was in on 25% of the team’s goals. A little low percentage but with ample PP time in his D+1Y, Dube’s point totals and proportion of total goals % should explode.
In terms of NHLE, forwards with sky-high NHLEs in their draft year (40+) generally turn into the best talents in the NHL, followed by the ones that register draft-year NHLEs in the 30s (the higher the better). As you can expect, the next most likely group is the forwards that register NHLEs in the 20s (that put together impressive D+1 and D+2 years back in junior). However, age plays a huge role here. Spring and summer (April to mid-September) born babies that register an NHLE of 20 to 29 in their draft year make the NHL and turn into at least a 40 point a year player 67% of the time. Forwards that register an NHLE of 20 to 29 in their draft year that are born in the fall and winter (mid-September to March) make the NHL and turn into at least a 40 point a year player only 33% of the time. Dube was born July 20, 1998 and fortunately fits into the former category. All in all, a very solid second round selection with tons of upside.
Gregg Drinnan, of The Coaches Site:
“Because he isn’t 6-foot, Dube is often referred to as being under-sized. That’s too bad, because he plays bigger than that. There isn’t anywhere on the ice surface where he won’t venture, and he often arrives with the attitude of an agitator. Dube sees the ice and reads the play well, and is a terrific passer. He was a point-a-game player with the Kelowna Rockets in 2015-16 as a 17-year-old sophomore, which says a lot. His skating has improved since he entered the WHL. Like any 18-year-old prospect, he needs to get heavier and stronger, but that should come with maturity.”
Tod Button, via the Fan960:
“This kid’s a hungry guy to score goals. He’s a quick, dirty guy, but he’s strong on his feet. He’s feisty, too. When I say hungry, he’ll fight his way to the net. He’s not an outside, soft-skilled perimeter guy. He’s feisty, he’s hungry to get to the net and put the puck in.”
Dube is at least a few years away from getting a sniff at the NHL, so right now it’s about building on an already impressive junior career.
Read more: Dillon Dube has had a wild year
With older, ice time munching players moving on from the team, Dube will likely be one of the top two or three players on the Rockets this upcoming season (he could be the top player if Nick Merkley graduates to the Coyotes). He will be relied upon heavily for offense by the team, regardless.
I would expect him to get substantially more ice time, as well as a significant bump in powerplay time. As a result, I would expect his goal and point totals to increase dramatically, likely reaching 90-100 points and an NHLE of 30-35. Anything beyond that in his D+1Y and he might be a consideration for the big club, but odds are he has two more years of junior before he becomes a real possibility for the Flames.
|#20 – Ryan Culkin||#19 – Linus Lindstrom|
|#18 – Morgan Klimchuk||#17 – Mason McDonald|
|#16 – Brett Pollock||#15 – Matthew Phillips|