Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 NHL Draft: Cam Dineen

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another look at 2016 NHL Draft-Eligible prospects. Today we look at:

Cam Dineen
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 183 lbs
Position: LD
Shoots: Left
Team (League): North Bay Battalion (OHL)
ISS rank: NA
CSS rank: 117th (North American Skaters)
FC rank: NA
THN rank: NA
DTJ rank: 24

Current Statline for 2015-2016 Season:  59 GP, 12G 43A 55P 18PIM, 0.93 Points/Game

Sorry it's taken so long to get a profile on a defensemen. There are some really interesting forwards available in this draft, but I also want to look at the guys on the blue line, and today we start with not only a New Jersey-born (Tom's River) player, but one of the definite sleepers in the draft class. Recently he was listed at #36 on Craig Button's January list so it seems that people are noticing him. 

Let's start with the overall information.  Dineen played for the New Jersey Rockets in the EHL. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection by the North Bay Battalion, and the reason why he was drafted so low was because he had a verbal commitment to Yale University to play during the 2015-2016 season (this year). In comparison to that, in the 2014 USHL Futures Draft, Dineen was drafted 3rd overall. Dineen opted to play in the OHL for the Battalion after carefully considering his options and joined the team. Since then, Dineen has played remarkably, to put it lightly.

Dineen is the 3rd highest scoring player on his Battalion team, and leads the entire OHL (not just draft-eligible) defensemen in scoring, and is second overall in rookie scoring behind Alexander Nylander. In the month of January, Dineen played in 13 games, scoring 13 points (6G 7A). Among those 13 points scored in the month of January, Dineen scored 3 game-tying goals to force OT, 1 OT game-winner, and 2 game-winning regulation goals. 

Dineen's been playing on the top defensive pairing for the Battalion, mainly paired with Kyle Wood (2014 3rd round pick by COL, recently traded to ARI). Dineen has incredible vision of the ice and uses that to help spur his great offensive game. His first pass out of his own zone is very crisp and he also possesses the quick skating and adept agility to skate it out himself if he needs to. Watching him play, you'll notice how seamlessly he can move up and join the offensive rush, whether it be in the neutral zone or sneaking behind the defense in the attacking zone to score a backdoor goal. Additionally, his ability to quarterback the powerplay is extremely impressive and he tops all of it off with a booming slap shot. For his overall shooting, he has a quick and accurate release.

While the offensive numbers that Dineen is putting up are extremely impressive, what makes it even more impressive is that North Bay runs a very defensive system, making it a bit more difficult to put up points. Interestingly enough, this defensive system under head coach Stan Butler has remarkably helped improve his defensive game over the course of the season, and now to the point of where Dineen is getting some important PK minutes.

While not conventionally "big", Dineen is 5'11", 183 lbs, which is a pretty solidly built defenseman. Ideally for his defensive game I'd like to see him add more muscle to help him be better in the corners and along the boards. However, his defensive game is comprised almost entirely from his good stickwork: intercepting passes and disrupting play overall. His skating also allows for maintaining good cap control against opponents. As mentioned earlier he just needs to work on his ability to hold his own, physically. Dineen has really been the driving offensive force behind the Battalion's success this season. I think if he keeps this pace up, there's no way he won't have a big rise in the rankings as June approaches.

Ultimately, Dineen should be a late first round pick. He definitely has the talent to be. If he does fall past the mid-second round I would be very surprised. His initial ranking of "C" (indicating a 4th-6th round pick) by the CSS back in October will have to be dramatically changed. In terms of playing style, it's tough to come up with a single player, but I agree with Craig Button's comments about his similarity to Duncan Keith "at same stage with respect to his skating & jump". He also reminds me a bit of John Moore.

I believe Dineen will only need one more year playing in the OHL to help round out his game a bit more. From a Devils' perspective, I think Dineen would be an excellent pickup. He plays the style of play that would fit in quite well with Hynes' system (especially with the John Moore comparison). Additionally, with Severson graduated to the big team, we don't quite have any defensemen in the system with as good of an ability to move the puck and score as Dineen would be. The biggest question would be which round he gets taken in.
I hope you enjoyed my write-up of Cam Dineen! If you have any feedback, suggestions, or players you’d like to see me write about, please let me know!

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Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Ian

    Great prospect posts. Dineen is underrated. Love the McLeod kid for Devils. Hope you get to break down Sean Day. Could be a second round boom or bust

    MK Atlanta