If he was Chris Pronger Jr, or Dany Heatley II, Dillion Simpson might be a little nervous about stepping into the Edmonton Oilers organization. But he doesn’t see any issues with being Craig Simpson’s kid. “That was something I talked about with my dad and the Oiler guys going into the draft,” said the 21-year-old defenceman, who told them he didn’t have any problem with trying to become a second-generation Oiler. “My dad isn’t a part of the organization anymore and he left on good terms.” Once the draft was over and Simpson returned to the University of North Dakota in 2011, being the son of an Oiler didn’t generate much play at all. But now that he’s turned pro and is beginning his quest to play in Edmonton, it’s a talking point again. “There are always going to be nay sayers and people like that,” said the 6-foot-2, 197-pounder, who went 92nd overall. “But I’m not going to pay attention or make it a big deal. I kind of want to pave my own path and see what I can do as a player.” But he isn’t ignoring the fact that this could be a special achievement - being born and raised in Edmonton and wearing the same colours his father did. “It’s amazing to grow up in the Oilers culture with my dad coaching and playing here, knowing what they’re all about, then coming in with this new generation of players,” said Simpson. “Seeing how things have changed, how things have stayed the same. It’s cool to be a part of it.” Simpson also followed his father’s footsteps down the college path, choosing the WCHA route over Junior. Four years later, he’s glad he did. “First and foremost my dad went that route so I got to know a lot more about it than the average Albertan. When I was about 14 or 15 I went down to Michigan State to see his old campus, caught a game down there and got a glimpse of what college hockey was all about.
Edmonton Oilers prospect Dillon Simpson aims to follow in footsteps of famous father
Edmonton Sun | Jul 7