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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Dylan Gambrell

Cole Hamilton Avatar
June 20, 2016

 

Get to Know Dylan Gambrell

Date of Birth: August 26, 1996 (19)
Place of Birth: Bonney Lake, WA
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 185 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Center
Team: University of Denver Pioneers

The local, University of Denver forward had a breakout season for the Pioneers at age 19 and helped take Denver to a Frozen Four appearance that ended in heartbreak, with a loss to the National Champion North Dakota Fighting Hawks. Gambrell plays a heavy game with plenty of offense and scored an impressive 17 goals and 47 points in 41 games this year, catching the eye of NHL teams across the country.

Statistics

What Scouts See
Future Considerations:
Gambrell does not panic under pressure and he protects the puck very well with his strength and with his reach when carrying it wide. He has very good vision and decision making ability, and sets up his teammates very well from the perimeter. He is also able to lead a teammate through the middle of the ice with a quick lead pass. More of a pass first player, Gambrell can also put the puck in the net with his quick shot from closer range.

The Pipeline Show

What BSN Avalanche sees
Dylan Gambrell was a central figure on a very good Denver University team this season. His versatility. As part of the Pacific Rim line with Danton Heinen and Trevor Moore, Dylan Gambrell finished the season 3 goals and 1 point behind the team lead. With Danton Heinen’s graduation to professional hockey, Gambrell will be expected to carry an ever heavier offensive burden next season as DU looks to return to the Frozen Four and vie for a National Championship victory.
Gambrell plays a complete, 200 foot, pro-style game. At 6’0”, Gambrell doesn’t have the biggest body out on the ice, but he has a good understanding of leverage and uses his body to dominate other players physically and win battles all over the ice. In the offesnive zone Gambrell is more of a playmaker than a scorer, but he does posses a quick release which helps him to score in close to the crease. Defensively Gambrell is ahead of the development curve and plays a calm game with smart spacing and stick positioning. Gambrell’s work ethic and energy on the ice are apparent and make him an impact player at the NCAA level and, combined with his over-age status and maturity, make him a candidate to reach professional hockey sooner than later.

Gambrell makes NCAA’s top 5 plays of the postseason

NHL Potential
Gambrell’s offensive breakout is promising and suggests a ceiling as a 2nd line playmaking center with a heavy, physical game. Gambrell’s all-around game and physical presence are impactful enough that he should be able to thrive in the NHL in a depth role even if the offense doesn’t translate at the next level.

Expected Draft Position
Gambrell’s numbers are impressive, but it’s important to remember that at 19, he’s also a year ahead of his draft peers in terms of development, and already made some of the leaps scouts would expect from his peers over the next season. It’s always tough to pin down the draft position for older players like this, but expect teams to start looking at Gambrell in the 2nd half of the 2nd round.

How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
The Avalanche have extremely limited forward depth in their AHL team and at lower development levels, so it’s hard to find a forward prospect in the draft who isn’t a good fit for the team’s needs. At 19 years old already and with AHL eligibility coming out of the NCAA, Gambrell has increased appeal for the potential to fast-track him into professional hockey ahead of comparable CHL picks. Gambrell brings the size, hockey IQ, and hard nosed game that the Avalanche seem to prize on draft day.

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