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.
His hockey sense and instincts are among his greatest attributes. He thinks the game well and plays a smart, economical style. He is somewhat undersized for a defenseman and has been criticized for his skating in the past, but he has acknowledged this and is making conscious efforts to better himself and make his skills more marketable once he reaches the pro level.
Simpson is a project in the purest sense, but has been thriving at the NCAA level. He has seen a steady increase in his ice time and special teams minutes and Simpson has taken it all in stride, showcasing his innate hockey sense. He will play his fourth season with the North Dakota this fall.