Dylan Duke Scouting Report: 2021 NHL Draft #43

Dylan Duke Scouting Report

Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Dylan Duke Scouting Report. 

Dylan Duke was one of the top scorers on this year’s US National Team Development Program Under-18 Team. He scored 29 goals and 20 assists for 49 points in 50 games. The Strongsville, Ohio native also played for Team USA at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He scored three goals and an assist for four points in five tournament games. The American coaching staff named Duke one of the top three players on the team. Unfortunately, the American team lost in the quarterfinals.

In 2019-20, Duke scored 29 goals and 18 assists for 47 points in 46 games with the NTDP Under-17 team. He also had a short call-up to the Under-18 squad, picking up one assist in six games. Duke helped the US team to a silver medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored five goals and three assists for eight points in six tournament games.

Duke is committed to playing NCAA Hockey for the University of Michigan Wolverines next season. Should Duke opt to change his mind and go the CHL Route, his rights are owned by the Saginaw Spirit. His father, Steve Duke had a pro career in the AHL and ECHL.

Dylan Duke Scouting Report

Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born March 4th, 2003 — Strongsville, Ohio
Height 5’10” — Weight 181 lbs [178 cm / 82 kg]


Duke’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. He has some areas that could use improvement but with strong positioning good hockey IQ, he gets around the ice well enough. While he will never be seen as a speedster, Duke has improved this aspect of his game this season. He has a longer, wider stride, which gives him more power as well as better speed and acceleration. Duke has a low centre of gravity and good core strength. This means that he is strong on his skates and tough to knock off the puck. He wins battles in front of the net as well as being effective on the forecheck. Duke also has good edgework and agility. He can avoid defenders both with and without the puck.

Offensive Game

Duke is a pure goal scorer who scores the majority of his goals at the front of the net. He gets to the net both with and without the puck. There are times he will find a quiet area near the side of the net, just waiting to bang in a pass from a teammate or to pounce on a rebound. There are other times when he will create chaos in front of the net. Duke will screen the goalie as well as get deflections and rebounds. He also has a very good wrist shot with a quick release. He can score from further out with his accurate shot and good release. His shot also the power to beat goaltenders.

Duke is effective on the forecheck. He does not back down from battles along the boards and is willing to punish opposing defenders when he gets the chance. His relentless pressure creates turnovers and this leads to scoring chances for his team. Duke is also strong in the cycle game. He uses his balance and strength on the puck to protect the puck down low. He can also make short quick passes to teammates and keep the puck moving. Duke loves to work the give and go, keeping his feet moving and getting to the net.

Defensive Game

Duke brings his outstanding work ethic to his own end of the ice as well. He is willing to support the defence down low and protect against the cycle game. However, his lack of size and strength means that he can sometimes have issues with bigger and stronger forwards. Duke is also willing to provide backpressure against the rush. He is effective at using his stick and his body to cut down both shooting and passing lanes. Once a turnover is created, Duke is effective in transition. His passing skills also come into play in head-manning the puck and starting the transition game. Duke is decent in the faceoff circle but there is room to improve.

Projection and Comparison

While Duke has played both centre and wing for the National Team Development Program, his future likely lies on the wing. His average top-end skating speed is going to keep him from being able to play the middle at the next level and he still needs continued improvement to even be a top-six winger. That said, he has all the other skills needed to be an effective top-six winger. His ability to create chaos in front of the net is in high demand throughout the NHL. Add in the fact that he can play a strong defensive game, and has an outstanding work ethic and Duke is the type of player coaches love. Duke’s game is reminiscent of Tomas Holmstrom. However this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.


The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Dylan Duke that are available on youtube and twitter.


Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.


Dylan Duke Scouting Report Main Photo: