The Detroit Red Wings have selected Dylan James with the 40th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. James was the 2021-22 USHL Rookie of the Year, putting together 61 points in 62 game with the Sioux City Musketeers.
James is a high-pressure player who excels along the boards. He’s big on positioning and physicality, with a very strong focus on defense. The left wing is a commit to the University of North Dakota next season. He’ll be a fixture in their lineup for the coming season and a great energy player for the team.
As far as realistic projections go, many in the Elite Prospects draft guide view him as a depth forward. He’s capable of drumming up energy for his team as a Tyler Bertuzzi-esque energy player. He excels at acceleration and steals on the defensive end. As far as responsible, two-way forwards go, this seems like a no-brainer for Yzerman.
Here’s what the Elite Prospects draft guide has to say about James:
James plays to his strengths...off-puck skating is a strength. He drives defenders back, gets inside positioning, and creates space behind him. Movement around the slot require work, but he has some scoring upside at the next level. Turned a tricky pass in his feet into a high-danger chance under pressure. Won puck races for another chance - his retrievals remain the most exciting part of his game. Physical performance, whether that was running over the opposition or making subtle bumps to establish early positioning. Stride mechanics require tweaking but he pushes his knees past his toes and engages his hips for projectable posture.
Additional thoughts from Dylan Galloway, formerly of Future Considerations, now working for Sioux City:
Hard worker, just really solid all around. He was MASSIVE for Sioux City in the playoffs. They wouldn’t have won the Clark Cup without him and Owen McLaughlin putting the team on their backs. There was a pretty noticeable drop in offensive zone time when his team wasn’t on the ice. Good at getting the puck and driving it up ice. Nothing “elite” about him, though — just solid all around. I think he’ll be a player Detroit likes because he puts in the work. Pick will age like fine wine.
What do you think of the pick?