Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #39 Cam Dineen

Coming in at #39 we have Cam Dineen, one of a few small(ish) defensemen who may be getting overlooked a little bit heading into the draft.

After the jump we’ll take a look at one of the most statistically impressive defenders coming out of the OHL this season.

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  • Age: 17, 1998-06-19
  • Birthplace: Toms River, NJ, USA
  • Frame: 5’11 183 lbs
  • Position: D
  • Handedness: L
  • Draft Year Team: North Bay Battallion
  • Accomplishments: Team USA at 2015-2016 Ivan Hlinka tournament


Cam Dineen 2016

14 7 50.00 0.349 0.1745


NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations Hockey Prospect McKeen’s Button
39 (NA) N/A N/A N/A NR 30

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Peter Harling – Dobberhockey

Dineen as an OHL rookie has been an offensive revelation of the defensively minded Stan Butler. Dineen is the driving force behind the Battalion offence and while size is a concern; his defensive game has developed under Butler noticeably this year. Dineen is a smooth skating offensive defenceman who loves to join the rush. He has excellent offensive vision and creativity making him a lethal power play quarterback. Dineen’s skating ability and transition game are his strengths that should propel him into today’s NHL.

Corey Pronman – ESPN Insider

Dineen has good raw offensive qualities; he brings above-average mobility and hands to the table. However, the biggest reason for his success is his hockey sense. Dineen is one of the smartest players in the draft. He takes the extra second to make a play and evades pressure as well as anyone. His timing on his passes is always spot-on, and he knows when and when not to jump up into the attack. In fact, his hockey sense has allowed him to be a not only competent but also useful defensive defenseman, in spite of his size. He isn’t an overly flashy player, but he has shown this season that he can be a very effective two-way defenseman. Teams that can overlook his size might land a gem.

Brock Otten – OHL Prospects

With great mentors on the ice, and a fantastic talent developer in Stan Butler guiding his progression, NHL teams would be crazy to not consider Dineen as a first round pick. A quick examination of the NHL’s defenseman scoring leaders right now and three of the top five (Klingberg, Letang, and Subban) were not first round picks. These are guys who did not possess elite size upon being drafted, but who have excelled because of the way the game is changing.


Cam Dineen flew under the radar in a big way leading into his draft eligible season. He was taken all the way in the 11th round of the 2014 OHL priority selection due to the fact that he had made a verbal commitment to play in the NCAA with Yale. Dineen ended up breaking off his commitment to come play with North Bay in the OHL believing it would be a better path for him to progress as a hockey player and an NHL prospect.

The general consensus with Dineen is that his greatest asset is his mind. He’s been described as a cerebral player and no one would deny that he possesses an above average hockey IQ. What he lacks in physicality is made up by playing sound positionaly and keeping an active stick to disrupt opposition players. While he’s not really considered a burner, he is a smooth skater and does possess the kind of speed needed to effectively jump in to the play or close ground should an opposing player get behind him. He possesses a hard, accurate shot and has a knack for getting it through shot blocking defenders on the way to the net. 

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Dineen’s season started off a little slowly while he was still getting himself acquainted with the league as an OHL rookie. Around the 20 game mark of the season a couple important things happened for Cam. First, North Bay traded away overage defensman Miles Liberati, which gave Dineen a better chance to show his offensive abilities. And second, teammate Kyle Wood returned from injury and the began to grow chemistry and play together as regular partners. By the midway point of the season, Dineen was playing heavy minutes in all situations on North Bay’s top pair and scoring as well as any defenseman in the OHL.

By the numbers Dineen looks quite impressive. Though the sample he matched against only contained 14 players, the prospect of getting a player with a 50% likelihood of being an NHLer outside of the first round is one NHL teams should be relishing. And while the raw numbers aren’t quite in the same range, his stature and position on the league scoring chart are reminiscent of recent prospect standouts like Ryan Ellis and Anthony DeAngelo. While an argument about quality of teammates can be made, given that he spent the vast majority of his time with another very good OHL defenseman in Kyle Wood, the fact remains the Dineen played a lot of minutes, against strong competition, and scored at a well above league average rate.

Cam Dineen has the look of a prototypical ‘new’ NHL defenseman. Rather than defending using size and strength he uses his high hockey IQ and sound positioning, makes quick transitions from defense to offense, and is equally proficient at jumping into the rush or hanging back and unloading a big shot from the point. If a team can overlook his slightly less than ideal size he has the makings of an excellent pick anywhere from the last third of the first round onward.

    • wojohowitz

      You saw him play once? You should be amateur scout of the year, you clearly know more than anyone else after a single viewing.

      I’m seeing him as a solid pick but still hopeful that someone ranked higher unexpectedly drops out of the first round for us.

  • wojohowitz

    Sounds like he is going to slip a bit. Benning might be interested if he`s still there in the third or fourth round, but even then Benning seems to prefer more size and leadership ability.

  • wojohowitz

    We all ready have smaller dmen dinnen and girard will drop later in the draft lots of risk with smaller guys with subban strecher I still rathe johansson green allard hajek before dineen so many very skilled dmen rounds two and three like to see the Canucks try get a couple more picks

  • wojohowitz

    Pick him up if he is still around in the 3rd round, otherwise I am assuming there are better ways to use our 2nd since its 33rd. More likely than not a couple of teams will go off the board and someone is slipping out of the 1st round (and we might pick up a steal).

    • wojohowitz

      More than likely, Benning is one of those GMs who go off the board. Not on a #5 pick, but his choice at #33 will probably not be what most would have predicted.

      He has his own system which seems to work pretty well.

      All I hope is we get Dubois at #5. Edmonton can have Chuck-Chuck (I’ve given up trying to spell it properly). Not that I’d be disappointed in Chuck, it’s just we have more use for a potential #1 Centre than they do.

  • wojohowitz

    Every time I read about Dineen I wonder why he’s not ranked higher. The reviews are always glowing, mention that he’s super smart, offensively capable and not a defensive liability, but then he gets slotted in at like 40. 5’11” is not that small.

  • Cageyvet

    From this article, which was well written, informative, and backed up with other opinions, this kid is worthy of consideration.

    Forget the size, I agree with AG, he’s not that small, and at 17 he’s already 183 lbs, I think you ignore the size and evaluate the talent, he’s built plenty solidly enough to play.

    I like the sounds of his strengths, we could use another defenseman who exhibits poise, not panic, with the puck. I also read pp quarterback and a knack for getting pucks through to the net. Tell me we can’t use that.

    I also agree that I’m hopeful Benning finds a steal with the 2nd pick, and maybe there’s someone better available, but maybe this kid is the steal. I will leave it to the professionals, but it’s a pretty glowing write-up.

  • Cageyvet

    Interesting take! I don’t think his skating speed is particularly impressive though. Haven’t watched enough of him to say with certainty but nothing i found on youtube helped his case.

  • Cageyvet

    The guy sounds like our Subban in Utica , the guy who lit it up in Utica only to be ignored by the Canucks. Every other prospect got a game ot two in Vancouver .. The Canucks wont pick a small defenseman..