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Fantasy Summary

Hardworking two-way forward with good hockey sense. Adding pace and deception to his offensive game will help him reach his potential as a top-nine NHL forward.


Observations

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May 2023 – The 2022 second-round pick wrapped up his freshman season at North Dakota finishing with eight goals and eights assists in 36 games for the Fighting Hawks. While the numbers aren’t spectacular, the speedy winger did finish off the season on a high note with four goals and an assist in his final six games. “More confidence at the end of the season,” James explained to the Grand Forks Herald. “You’re playing to win.” As the season progressed so did his game. “He’s playing with confidence,” North Dakota coach Brad Berry told writer Brad Elliott Schlossman. “We all know he has NHL elite speed, right? At the end of the day, as a freshman coming in here, sometimes, it’s a little overwhelming just getting acclimated to the game, knowing how much time you have when you have the puck on your tape. Sometimes, the game overwhelms a young guy a little bit, because it’s so tight-checking in our league. “But now he knows when to chip a puck. He knows when to hang onto a puck. Man, he’s a threat off the rush going around defenders. Now he’s starting to play with confidence.” This follows up a spectacular USHL debut where James was named the United States Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year in 2022 after tallying 61 points (28-33-61) in 62 regular-season games with the Sioux City Musketeers. The 19-year old Calgary product plays a strong two-way game, which is a key component for the Red Wings organization, and with his speed I see some similarities to former Red Wing forward Darren Helm. He is not worth a roster spot in any leagues at this time as he is likely to spend another season or two at North Dakota, but he is definitely worth keeping an eye on for the future. Evan Sabourin

July 2022 – The Detroit Red Wings have selected James in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft, 40th overall. Nick Richard

June 2022 – Dylan James is a smart, two-way forward with good instincts and solid upside. He is someone who never gives up on plays, likes to mix it up on the forecheck, and can handle the physical game now and at the next level. After a productive year with Sioux City where he was awarded the USHL’s Rookie of the Year award, he is off to North Dakota where he will fit in well due to his skillful yet powerful game. One thing that really stands out about James is his awareness and intelligence without the puck, always being in the right areas and looking for ways to exploit the defense. When he is at his best, he is driving hard to the net looking for a tip or rebound and giving maximum effort on the forecheck/backcheck. James isn’t someone who flies around the ice but can get up to speed fairly easily, and loves to take advantage of open space. With a strong lower body, he is able to get up to top speed within his first initial strides and he gains plenty of speed through crossovers as well. Although he doesn’t always touch the puck a ton, he is always in the right areas to receive a pass or follow up on a rebound. When he does have the puck, he makes the right play; whether it’s firing a shot, protecting from defenders, or making a pass, he is able to identify the right play and execute it. There are some improvements he can make, such as improving his hands and deception, creating more shot opportunities off the rush, and adding more consistent speed. He is certainly someone a team can take a chance on earlier than expected but should be a solidified mid-round prospect. Be on the lookout for a breakout season in college for James in the near future. Evan Pace

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country CAN
Position LW
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth June 12, 2003
Height 6‘0”
Weight 185 lbs
Drafted 2022 Round 2; Overall: 40

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Western Canada Selects U12WSI U127 1 12 11|        
 2016-2017 CBHA Hawks U15 AAHCAA U1529 18 1735 24|Playoffs4 1 23
 2017-2018 Calgary Bisons U15 AAAAEHL U1535 26 3056 25|Playoffs9 7 613
  CBHA Rangers U16 AAAAEHL U171 1 01 0|        
  Team Calgary South Alberta Cup5 5 16 2|        
  Calgary Bisons U15 AAAJohn Reid Bantam5 3 36 0|        
 2018-2019 Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAAMacs Tournament4 1 23 2|        
  Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAATelus Cup7 3 03 2|        
  Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAAAEHL U1834 20 1434 6|Playoffs11 2 57
  Okotoks OilersAJHL2 1 12 2|        
 2019-2020 Okotoks OilersAJHL51 20 2343 31|        
 2020-2021 Okotoks OilersAJHL7 2 13 21|        
 2021-2022 Sioux City MusketeersUSHL62 28 3361 39|Playoffs10 5 38
 2022-2023 Univ. of North DakotaNCAA36 8 816 6|        
 2023-2024 Univ. of North DakotaNCAA31 6 713 4|        

Highlights