#4 - Dillon Dube
Position: Centre/Left Wing
2020-21 Team: Calgary Flames (NHL)
Stats: 51 GP, 11 G, 11 A, 22 Pts, 20 PIM, -1
Drafted in 2016, Round 2, Pick 56
2020 Ranking: #6 (+2)
Coming in at number four on our list is a player who took a step forward in 2020-21, yet never really seemed to settle into a set role in the lineup. That player was Dillon Dube, who finished the year with 22 points in 51 games. Expectations were elevated for Dube after a particularly strong showing during the bubble playoffs against Winnipeg and Dallas, but things never really seemed to fully work out for him over the course of the year.
It was especially confusing for fans and probably just as confusing for Dube when he was regularly finding himself starting in the top six in games and then ending up benched in the third period on a fairly regular basis from Darryl Sutter. It’s no secret that Dube wasn’t meeting Sutter’s expectations over the course of the year but at least through the preseason this year, the staff seemed far more willing to test Dube at different spots in the lineup.
Among the more interesting lineup decisions was seeing Dube moved to the Center position for parts of the preseason, no doubt as a way for the Flames to gauge what they have should any of their regular centers go down with injury (knock on wood). Heading into the regular season, he projects to be on the wing alongside Mikael Backlund for now, but is a candidate for top six minutes in the season opener with Blake Coleman serving his suspension.
Another step forward this season into being a reliable and consistent NHLer that can produce points would go a long way towards getting the Flames back into the playoffs and building confidence for himself and the coaching staff. With Dube entering the first year of a three year contract at $2.3M AAV, there is definitely the opportunity for him to quickly out-earn his costs as early as this year.
What do you think of Dube’s final ranking?