2008-09: Dillon Simpson played in one regular season and one playoff game for the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, failing to register a point in either contest.
2009-10: Simpson played a full season for the Saints, posting an impressive 12 goals and 29 assists in 58 games for the AJHL team. He went on to add 6 assists in 16 postseason games.
2010-11: Simpson appeared in 30 games as a 17-year-old freshman for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the NCAA. He notched 2 goals and 8 assists on the season.
2011-12: Simpson skated in 42 games for North Dakota as a sophomore. His 16 assists were second most amongst defensemen for the Fighting Sioux (two behind Ottawa prospect Ben Blood) and he was plus-nine with 2 goals and 8 penalty minutes. North Dakota was one of the best teams in the country late in the year – winning 14 of its last 18 games including all five games in the WCHA tournament and an NCAA West Regional semifinal game against Western Michigan.
Simpson played 42 games for North Dakota in his junior season. Skating alongside senior Andrew MacWilliam (Toronto) during the Fighting Sioux’ successful stretch run, he scored 5 goals with 19 assists, both career highs, and was +4 with 12 penalty minutes. Three of his goals came on the power play. North Dakota was third in the WCHA and received an at-large NCAA bid after an overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinals. The Fighting Sioux defeated Niagara in the NCAA West Regional semifinals before falling to national champion Yale, 4-1.
2013-14: Simpson was a team captain for the University of North Dakota in his senior season. He scored 7 goals with 16 assists and had an even plus/minus with 20 penalty minutes. Six of his seven goals were scored on the Fighting Sioux power play. North Dakota finished second to St. Cloud State in the newly-formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference; losing to Miami, 3-0, in the NCHC semifinals but earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional with a win in the league’s third-place game. The Fighting Sioux defeated Wisconsin and Ferris State to win the regional; falling to Minnesota 2-1 in the Frozen Four semifinals on a goal in the game’s final second. Simpson signed a three-year entry-level contract with Edmonton in April 2014.
Simpson is a cerebral defenseman with great hockey sense and instincts. He thinks the game well and plays a smart, economical style. He is somewhat undersized for a defenseman and his skating has been an issue at times. Simpson made a conscious effort to better himself and make his skills more marketable during his college career.
Simpson attended his first NHL training camp with the Oilers before being assigned to AHL affiliate Oklahoma City at the start of the 2014-15 season. In his first pro season after a successful four-year college career, he has been a solid, if unspectacular, presence in the Barons' lineup. Simpson's style of play does not lend itself to exciting open ice hits or end-to-end rushes but his consistent, sound positional play make him an ideal candidate as a lower pairing defender capable of playing in all situations. To play that role successfully in the NHL he will need to continue to improve his technical and skating skills.