2015-16 Team: Kelowna Rockets (#19)
Date of Birth: July 20, 1998
Place of Birth: Golden, BC
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 first-year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking: 48th (June)
- THW Alternate: 33rd (June)
- THW War Room: 49th (May)
- Future Considerations: unranked (June)
- ISS: unranked (June)
- Bob McKenzie: 37th (June)
- Craig Button: 28th (June)
If Dillon Dube was a little bit bigger, he’d be a slam-dunk first round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Born in British Columbia but a product of Calgary’s minor hockey system, Dube left home at 14 years of age to play at the famed Notre Dame prep school in Saskatchewan. Despite the big gamble, he thrived there. From there, he moved onto the Western Hockey League, debuting as a rookie with the Kelowna Rockets in 2014-15.
After generating roughly half-a-point per game as a rookie, Dube really increased his productivity this past season by doubling his point production. Not a lot changed fundamentally about his game – he maintained his torrid work ethic and slightly improved his skating – but it was more of a series of smaller tweaks. In short? Dube used his rookie season to absorb a lot of information about the WHL, and then made a bunch of off-season adjustments that paid off for him.
Dube’s got a lot of strong attributes. He’s good on the fore-check and the back-check. He reads coverage well and is really effective at finding lanes to make passes – he had four times as many assists this season as he did as a rookie, so either his teammates were better at burying his chances or he was more effective at finding them (or both). His playing style has drawn some comparisons to teammate Nick Merkley, and they’re not unfair ones: they’re very similar players, though Merkley may be slightly better away from the puck than Dube.
Dube doesn’t turn 18 until the month after the draft. He’s young and quite good. If he were a bit bigger physically, he’d be a surefire first round pick. As it stands, it looks like a team in the early second round could have a really effective, toolsy player fall into their laps.
NHL Draft Projection:
Dube is one of several players in the clump of prospects that could go between 25th overall (in the first round) or 40th overall (in the early second).
“Dillon Dube is an undersized centre who plays bigger than what his listed height says, getting involved in the fore-check and battling for space in front of the net. He is not afraid to take on bigger opponents, and plays with a non-stop motor. After the whistle, he can be found in the middle of scrums, often working to agitate opponents and get them off their game. Dube isn’t afraid to go to the net, and to battle in the dirty areas of the ice; fighting for pucks in the corners or battling in the front of the net. He is also willing to drive the net both with and without the puck.Offensively, Dube has the instincts, vision, and passing skill to be a playmaker.”
– Ben Kerr, Last Word on Sports
- Very good passer.
- Good mobility and acceleration.
- Excellent situational awareness and hockey IQ.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Needs to bulk up a little bit.
- Could stand to play a bit “meaner.”
- Play away from the puck could be improved a bit.
- Could probably shoot the puck more often (rather than pass it).
Dube projects to be a middle-six center with some offensive upside, somewhat like Alex Killorn or J.T. Miller.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 8.5/10, Defensive 7.5/10
Dube won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.