2016 NHL Draft Profiles: Cam Dineen

Cam Dineen – 5’11, 185-pound left-shot defenceman from the North Bay Battalion (OHL)

Cam Dineen Rankings

  • Ranked #39 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
  • Ranked #88 by McKeen’s Hockey
  • Ranked #22 by Craig Button

Cam Dineen Strengths

  • Anthony DeAngelo, Cody Ceci, Ryan Murphy, and Ryan Ellis. What do those four players have in common? Well, a couple of things. They are the only defenders in the last ten years to finish in the top two of defensemen scoring in the league during their draft year. They were also all first round draft picks in the NHL. This year, Cam Dineen joined that elusive club, finishing a single point behind Rasmus Andersson for the lead. The question is, will Dineen also join those five guys as an NHL first rounder? I honestly think he deserves it, but we’ll see what happens.
  • I suppose you’d like an actual scouting report though and less of a history lesson. Dineen’s best asset is far and away his ability to see the ice offensively. His hockey sense is elite and his brain for the game is going to carry him places. I saw North Bay a lot this year and I honestly can’t remember him making a bad pass out of his own end.
  • He also distributes exceptionally well on the powerplay and does a great job of getting a low, hard point shot through to the net.
  • The innate ability he possesses can not be taught. You just can’t ignore how well he processes the game.
  • He exhibits great patience when defending off the rush, forcing forwards to make the first move and he’s really learned how to anticipate plays and defend within a coverage scheme. As he gets stronger, I think he’ll become even better in that area (as he can still get outmuscled).

Cam Dineen Weaknesses

  • The physical skills are only average (size, strength), and I’m sure there are some scouts who wish he was a little more explosive in his first few steps. He moves well and has very good overall mobility, but I do think it is a legitimate criticism.
  • Physical skills can be improved upon. He can get stronger. And when he does, I’m guessing he’ll become a little quicker (which will make him even that more dangerous).
  • Defensively, he initially struggled, but under defensive guru Stan Butler, he became more than adequate by season’s end (even becoming a fixture on the team’s penalty kill).

The Verdict

All in all, I truly believe that Dineen deserves consideration for the first round this year.

Cam Dineen Career Notes

  • Drafted round 1, #3 overall by Tri-City Storm in the 2014 USHL Futures Draft.
  • Drafted round 11, #214 overall by North Bay Battalion in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.
  • Named EHL First Team All Star in 2014-15
  • Recorded most points by an EHL defenceman in 2014-15
  • Named EHL Rookie of the Year in 2014-15
  • Named to OHL First All-Rookie Team in 2015-16
  • Recorded two points in four games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament for USA U18.

Cam Dineen Interview

Courtesy of The Pipeline Show:

Cam Dineen on a successful rookie season:
I came in not really knowing what to expect in the OHL. I knew it was a great league, and I knew I was going to have to work hard. I just wanted to come in and prove that I could play. As the season went on,  I think I got better and better. Our coaching staff grew a lot of trust in me. Eventually, I became one of our go-to guys, I think. That really made me become a better player.

On scoring 13 goals and 59 points in his first year in the league:
I came into the season knowing that I was an offensive defenceman and needed to put up some points, but I didn’t expect that many at all.

On adjusting to the CHL coming from the EHL:
It was a huge jump. Playing against some of the best players in the world at this age, and going head to head against them and having guys like Mitch Marner coming at you, is a huge adjustment. At first I was a little shaky and a little nervous about it and didn’t have too much confidence, but I think the coaching staff in North Bay put confidence in my head and told me I could play with those guys. Gradually, I realized I could, too. That just really helped me this year.

On playing a shutdown role in addition to putting up points:
I think I started the year not really playing against the top guys. We had a few injuries and I got to play against them. It was really fun. I thought it was really cool to play against Strome and DeBrincat. We played Erie and we pretty much shut down their top players. That really was an eye opener for me that I could play against those guys.

On improving as the season went along:
I think that my confidence and my game really grew. I realized that I was strong enough and fast enough to keep up with a lot of the guys and even do things that I usually wouldn’t, like make plays that were a little bit out of my comfort zone. I think that really helped.

On playing for Stan Butler:
Stan helped me a ton this year. He really just stressed that I needed to get stronger in the gym and even on the ice, and then just put together all that stuff and have a good active stick to play good defence. He would always say, “you don’t have to be the biggest guy, but you can use your brain to play defence against some of the bigger and better guys.” He just really made me realize that’s a true statement.

On finishing near the top of the league in shots on goal this season:
I think from the point I am pretty good at getting the puck through to the net. That’s going to help put up some points and even score sometimes. My coach for the past two years with the Rockets, Bob Thornton, always stressed to me that you just have to keep shooting as a defenceman and good things will happen. That’s definitely a big part of my game. I hope to keep getting better at it.

On what he likes about his position:
I think a defenceman has to be the smartest player on the ice at all times. I think you have the puck on your stick a lot and you’re in a lot of tight situations where you either have to make a good play, or if you don’t make a good play then it can result badly. I think it puts a lot of pressure on myself and other defencemen, but I like the pressure.

On his hockey upbringing: 
I started at a young age where [the level of competition] wasn’t too great, then I moved to the New Jersey Rockets for three years. I played against older, stronger kids, so that really helped. My coach there, Bob Thornton, liked to do that. He would bring in some of the better, younger kids from the area and play us against junior-aged kids and hope that that would really develop us.

On considering the college route:
I was committed to Yale at the time [of the OHL draft]. I was definitely looking more towards that way and playing in the USHL this year. But with the draft coming this year, I thought it would give me the best chance to be picked and really develop me as a player.

On choosing the CHL over the USHL:
My agent, and everyone, really pushed that towards me. They said they thought it would be a better route for me. They thought I was the type of player who could succeed in the OHL.

On originally getting accepted into Yale and the importance of education:
My parents really forced that growing up and they still do to this day, even with me leaving in Canada. It’s been a big part of my life. I’m going to just keep continuing with that, too.

Cam Dineen Statistics

2013-14New Jersey Rockets U19Midget5962834817|
2014-15New Jersey RocketsEHL391130418|Playoffs20000
Tri-City StormUSHL300000|
2015-16North Bay BattalionOHL681346591818|Playoffs110880-4

Cam Dineen Video + Isolation