The Arizona Coyotes went all out to fix their defensive prospect problems last season. Now the team has so many potential puck movers it may be hard to keep track of them all. #16 in our countdown is a New Jersey native with a knack for scoring from the blue-line: Toms River’s own Cam Dineen.
#16 - Cam Dineen - Left Handed Defenseman - North Bay Battalion - 68th overall pick, 2016 NHL Draft
Highest Rank: 7
Lowest Rank: 18
Jakob Chyrchrun, Olli Juolevi, and Mikhail Sergachev dominated the headlines as OHL defensive prospects to follow. But Cam Dineen outscored them all. In fact, only 2015 Calgary Flames pick Rasmus Andersson put up more points from the blue-line than Dineen; Andersson had 60 points to Dineen’s 59.
Obviously, points aren’t the only component of a good defenseman, but for a team that has still struggled to fill the power play void left by Keith Yandle’s departure, Dineen’s prowess can't help but intrigue.
And Dineen is hardly a one-dimensional defenseman either. He rarely gets caught in a bad position, which explains why he finished the season with just 18 penalty minutes.
Dineen was labeled by our Detroit Red Wings’ sister site as "the ultimate sleeper pick". They have a point; if Dineen is 6’ 1" instead of 5’ 11", he’s probably in the same conversation as Jake Bean and Charlie McAvoy, if not Chychrun, Juolevi, and Sergachev. But he's not 6’ 1", and so he remained available at #68 for the Coyotes to grab.
Next season will be crucial for Cam Dineen. He has all the tools necessary to be a smaller defenseman like Alex Goligoski. If he can put up similarly strong numbers a year older and a year wiser in North Bay, he will be impossible to ignore.