We’re nearing the end of our projections for the draft’s second round, and today we have an intriguing prospect in Dillon Dubé. Dubé is a gritty, albeit undersized player that can play all three forward positions. He has flashes of skill but is likely to make himself known through his tenacity and work ethic.
Dubé emerged as one of the Kelowna Rockets’ strongest players this year while they dealt with various injuries. He was a point per game player while being on the younger end of 2016 draft elgibles – projection models with smile upon him.
- Age: 17 (July 20th, 1998)
- Birthplace: Golden, BC, CAN
- Frame: 5′ 10″, 181 lbs
- Position: C
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Kelowna Rockets
- Accomplishments/Awards: WHL Champion (2014-15); CHL Top Prospects Game, Ivan Hlinka Gold Medal (2015-16)
Dubé was drafted in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
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A speedy and skilled playmaker with excellent vision and creativity. Excellent fluid skater – light on his feet with great flow to his footwork, turns, transition sequences. Skating is both quick and fast; pivots, lateral skating exceptional. He is arguably among the fastest in his draft class. Quick off the hop – the swiftness of his first few strides is a trait he takes advantage of to create space.
Brings a real urgency and purpose to his puckmoving – stays in motion while handling and moving around with the puck. Slick and elusive as a passer – has a gift for deceiving opponents with his intentions. Senses pressure well – lets gaps close to draw checkers in and then makes plays to open spaces.
Shows good anticipation away from the puck and healthy attention to defense. Intercepts passes by reading the play and exploiting quick, skilled stickwork. Effective at getting his stick on pucks, aided by excellent reach for his size. Can elongate his body and has good skill at full extension.
Undersized forward from an athletic family who is a great skater, excellent on I’ve vision , and shoots the puck very well. One of Kelowna’s key guys when they are killing a penalty, he is a shot blocker, and can transition those blocks in to short-handed breakaways. In the attack zone, he uses his feet and and to get behind the defenders. Has a high level hockey IQ, a really good face-off man, vision, and plenty of playmaking ability. Gets right in on the forecheck, and when he takes the puck away, walks out to the front, and can quickly snap his wrist shot on net. Really strong on the puck down low and on the wall. Has a touch pass. His separation gear causes problems in so many parts of the attack zone. Fast enough to split the defense, get around from the outside, or bust into an open area quicker than expected. Plays like a larger guy in the battle areas and surprises big players when he outmuscles them. Longer term development is needed, but no coach will say he doesn’t leave it all out there.
Dubé was one of the Rockets’ best players this season. He was third in points and tied for second in primary points, while being nearly a full two years younger than the teammates that outscored him. He was also tied for third in primary points among 2016 draft eligible WHL players. Born in late July, Dubé is towards the younger end of the draft class, which makes his production all the more impressive.
Dubé is a player whose results are largely predicated on his effort level. He’s a bit undersized, but he more than makes up for that deficiency with his speed and strength. As the saying goes, he plays a larger man’s game. His speed and acceleration allow him to catch defenders flat footed and position himself into prime scoring chances. He’s a tenacious player with a hard shot, though he needs to work a bit on his accuracy. He could also stand o use his teammates a little bit more. Dubé also struggled in this year’s WHL playoffs, scoring just two goals and five assists in 18 games after going a point per game in the regular season.
He spent a lot of time at both centre and on the wing, and though he was proficient in both spots, some scouts felt that the constant switching of his position was detrimental to his play at times. It’s left him with occasional patches of inconsistency and some hot and cold play. Some stability could do him well, and he seemed to be more comfortable at centre than the wing, according to Western Hockey Scout, Andy Levangie. ESPN’s Corey Pronman (paywall warning) saw flashes of high-end talent, but not often enough to justify top six upside. He projects as a gritty bottom six forward who can chip in offensively in the NHL.
Dubé is seen favorably in the eyes of pGPS. With 23 of his 50 matches (40 per cent) going on to play at least 200 NHL games, Dubé has the predicted level of success associated with a late first round pick, though he may go ten spots later than that. He has a variety of impressive matches including Ray Whitney, Russ Courtnall, and Brendan Morrow. His predicted NHL points per game of 0.53 is similar to that of other matches like Clarke MacArthur and Stu Barnes.
Nation Network Draft Prospect Profiles