Mention the name Dylan Samberg to Jets fans and you’ll either get glowing reviews of the potential this kid has and how he’s a sure fire NHL’er, or you’ll get dread over his un-signed status as he heads into a third year with Minnesota-Duluth and time running out on the Jets ability to sign him before he becomes eligible to go back into the NHL Draft for 2020. For now, he ranks at number four in our top ten prospects and could easily be at the top of that list next year.. If the Jets do in fact find a way to sign him.
- Born: Jan 24, 1999 (Age 20)
- Birthplace: Hermantown, MN
- Position: Defense
- Handedness: Left
- Frame: 6’1″ / 198 lbs
- Drafted: 2017 – 2nd Round – 43 Overall
- Played Last Year: Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
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“The first half of the year was a little slow, just trying to get used to things,” Samberg said. “It was a lot different speed, the guys were a lot bigger than in high school. I went to world juniors halfway through the year and I feel like that kind of jump [started] my game and I found my confidence. When I came back to college after that, I kind of rolled with that.”
Samberg’s size speaking volumes for Jets – NHL.com (Jul 27, 2018)
Samberg’s skating mechanics are a major reason why he’s so effective defensively despite the minutes he plays. He rarely plays at his explosive top speed, preferring to play at a more comfortable, albeit still quick, pace.
Why Jets prospect Dylan Samberg has the making of a modern-day shutdown defenceman – The Athletic (Feb 19, 2019)
Smooth in transition, picking his spots to jump up in the play well it was rare to see him caught out of position and when he was, he was able to use a smart stick to break up potential threats. Even the physical side of the game suited him just fine with UMD and Providence doled out a number of big hits.
Dylan Samberg is young in age, but not in big game experience – Arctic Ice Hockey (Apr 12, 2019)
What We Said At The Time:
Samberg is one of the rawest players in the Draft and will definitely be a project, despite being a relatively high pick. He was originally scheduled to play a year in the USHL before college, but after Minnesota Duluth lost defenseman Neal Pionk to the NHL, Samberg will head straight to college hockey. It may take Samberg a few years in Duluth to adjust and develop, but if he continues on his upward trajectory, he has potential as a first or second pairing defenseman at the NHL level.
What We Say Now:
Samberg has continued to remain strong as the shut-down defenseman he was labeled with before he was even drafted in 2017, but he’s also seen some nice development in his offensive game and has been improving on his puck moving and zone exits. As a 20 year old junior with Minnesota-Duluth, there is some concern that his skill set is not going to be properly tested and pushed further against what will be mostly younger players, but he could find those challenges in international play with Team USA where he has also excelled. While his contract status (or lack thereof) is a concern, what isn’t is his ability to play at a high level already (despite the few concerns out there) and should the Jets and Dylan be able to come to an agreement at the end of this college season, there is a strong possibility Samberg could make the jump directly into the NHL