2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Sam Dickinson

Photo via Getty Images

The Scouting Report:

Sam Dickinson of Toronto, ON is one of the best offensive defensemen in this year’s draft class. Dickinson was born June 7th, 2006 and comes in at six-foot-three and 195 pounds. Dickinson has been a key contributor for the London Knights, helping to lead the team to an OHL Championship and ultimately the finals of the Memorial Cup.

Dickinson has spent the past two seasons with the London Knights of the OHL, with his offensive skills leading him to 18 goals and 70 points in 68 games this season. Dickinson followed up his regular season with 13 points in 18 playoff games.

The London Knights continue to develop hockey players into legitimate NHL prospects, and Dickinson projects to be yet another Knight drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft.

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Draft Projections

Ranked #6 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #8 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #4 by Daily Faceoff
Ranked #7 by Dobber Prospects

I’ve highlighted some of Sam Dickinson’s attributes below so let’s dive into what makes Dickinson a strong defenseman in the 2024 NHL Draft class.

Diving Deeper:

Skating

Sam Dickinson is a smooth and quick skater, especially for his size and this has led to success at the OHL level. Dickinson competes hard and can find himself getting to open slots because of his speed. Dickinson is able to make tight turns and play at a high pace which can help to create chances for himself and his opponents. There were many instances this past season where Dickinson would come out of nowhere on the rush to give his team a numbers advantage. This has made him quite effective at the OHL level, and he will look to continue to grow here as he eventually makes the jump to the NHL.

“He’s a very mobile skater with good speed for his size and protects the puck well on the line or even making timely pinches. He can cut down lanes very easily and does a great job to keep attackers to the outside.”

Peter Baracchini – The Hockey Writers – March 7th

Transitional Play

Dickinson’s skating ties into his play with the puck, but the decisions he makes with the puck as Steven Ellis outlined, have led to success with the Knights. There aren’t an abundance of bigger defensemen who can skate well while also moving the puck well, but Dickinson has excelled in this area with the Knights. Whether he carries the puck or passes the puck, he makes smart reads which lead to effective breakouts out of their own zone, with some of these setting up higher danger chances.

“He’s calm with the puck, makes smart, quick decisions, and plays so well in transition. Try and find a team that doesn’t want a 6-foot-3, mobile defenseman who’s on pace to score 20 goals and 75 points as a sophomore.”

Steven Ellis – Daily Faceoff – March 9th

Defensive Play

It’s quite common when a defenseman has offensive skill for their defensive game to be poor or take a hit, but this hasn’t seemed to be the case with Dickinson. Dickinson’s defensive game is one of his highlights and he makes smart decisions both on and off the puck in his own end. Dickinson uses his strength to his advantage to box out other players and move the puck out of his own end.

On-Ice Abilities:

Sam Dickinson has many defensive and offensive abilities that pair well together making him a fairly complete player, but one of the things he will need to do as he breaks into the NHL is having his mind move as quickly as his feet do. At times Dickinson can give up the puck because he’s holding onto the puck for slightly too long, but he has mostly been able to recover due to his solid skating stride, but he will likely be punished more in the NHL, so he will continue to grow and adapt.

An area that we didn’t cover so far, is Dickinson’s shot. Dickinson has a heavy shot and is a shooting threat from the point. Dickinson has the defensive game, and the offensive game and looks like one of the most complete defensemen of the draft class.

Prospect Potential:

Sam Dickinson has a lot of the tools that are needed to make a top-pairing defenseman in the NHL, but his ceiling will be determined by how he elevates his game to the next level. Dickinson should become a very serviceable top-four defenseman in the league but has the potential to reach the top-pairing and be a difference-maker on whatever team drafts him.

Best Potential Fit:

Utah Hockey Club: The Utah Hockey Club is looking to make a splash in their first year in the league, and find themselves with the 6th overall pick in this year’s draft. We have Dickinson ranked 6th in the draft and the fit with the hockey club seems obvious. With a young offensive core with forwards ready to break into the league, there seems to be more room for defense in the prospect pool to add to Lamoureux among others. The team has no defense who played on the roster last season signed for the upcoming year, and bringing Dickinson in would add great depth and poise Utah well for the future.

Seattle Kraken: The Seattle Kraken pick 8th overall in the upcoming draft and while Dickinson may not be available at 8th, the Kraken should consider him if he’s still on the board. The Kraken have some great forward prospects in Wright, Rehkopf, Firkus, Goyette, and more, and bringing in Dickinson would help bring some much-needed defensive depth and a future top-four option that Dunn could hand the mantle to over time.

Anaheim Ducks: The Anaheim Ducks make their first selection 3rd overall and will have their choice at many different high-level players. Dickinson has made a case this season as a solid performer, and while the team has some stellar defensemen in LaCombe, Zellweger, and Mintrukov, Dickinson could help push the team forward in a few years. There is a real scenario where a few years from now the Ducks have one of the best defenses in the league and adding another defenseman with potential would help ensure that.

Final Thoughts:

The London Knights seem to continue hitting gold, and it seems like once again they have with Sam Dickinson. Dickinson is solid offensively and defensively and whatever team drafts him will surely have a high-level prospect with the potential to be a difference-maker down the line.

Stats via Elite Prospects

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
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