Dylan Samberg Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #78

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Dylan Samberg is a difficult prospect to get a read on.  He played most of the season for Hermantown High School, being named to the USHS All-USA Hockey First Team. He led his team to their second straight Class 1A State Title. It is difficult to get footage of his games at this level.

Luckily, Samberg also played 14 games (regular season plus playoffs) for the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks. Thanks to the USHL’s streaming service we did get to seem him there. Samberg put up two goals and five points in 14 games as he adjusted to the league. He took a big role on the Black Hawks defence, and helped the team reach the Western Conference Final before falling to the Sioux City Musketeers.

Samberg is headed to the College ranks in 2018-19.  He is committed to play for the the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.  In the meantime, he should spend the 2017-18 season in the USHL, with the Black Hawks.

Dylan Samberg Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #78

Defense — shoots Left
Born January 24th, 1999 — Hermantown, Minnesota, USA
Height 6’3″ — Weight 211 lbs [191 cm / 96 kg]


Samberg has excellent size, and combines that with very good skating. His top end speed is very good, allowing him to join the rush, or pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively. He is also quick when skating backwards. Good agility and edge work allow him to keep defenders in front of him, on the rush. Quick pivots also let him transition from defence to offence, or vice-versa very quickly. Samberg also has good balance on his skates. His lower body strength makes him hard to knock off the puck, and effective in battles for loose pucks.

Offensive Game

Dylan Samberg has a very good slap shot from the point. He generates a lot of stick flex, and great power. He also has a very hard wrist shot with an excellent release. However, Samberg has a tendency to fire the puck into traffic, getting his shots blocked before they get to the net. He must work on moving laterally as well as opening up the shooting lanes before letting his shot go.

Samberg’s passing game is also a bit of a work in progress. He seems to rush his passes at times. Samberg could stand to hold onto the puck for an extra second and wait for the play to develop and then pick out his man. He doesn’t make bad passes and giveaways when this happens, he just makes plays that are less than optimal.  A short, safe pass or a chip off the boards as opposed to something that will generate speed and offence.  These are issues that could be caused by the short sample size in the USHL. The change in speed from High School hockey to USHL is quite significant. Samberg may just need a bit more time to adjust to the speed of the league, and at that point, would be more effective.

Defensive Game

Samberg is a solid defensive player with good positioning. He uses a long and active stick to cut down passing lines, as well as being willing to put his body in position to block shots. Samberg is willing to take a hit to make a play. He also uses his big frame to lean on opponents in the corners and to clear the front of the net. However, Samberg is not a big hitter. He keeps himself disciplined in his position, and forces his man to the outside, but does not look for that big body check.

Projection and Comparison

Samberg is a raw prospect. The size and the skating ability are certainly there, but he has not faced a lot of high quality competition to date. He will be a bit of a project, needing plenty of time in the USHL and then NCAA and possibly AHL, before he is ready. The potential for a top pairing defenceman down the road is there, but the road will be a very long one with no guarantee of success. In terms of style, Samberg is similar to Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers, but this is not a talent comparison.


The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

Main Photo via Twitter.