Over the course of his tenure as a San Jose Shark, Brenden Dillon has found his groove as one of the sturdiest and consistent defensemen in the league. Now alongside new partner Erik Karlsson, Dillon’s career ceiling is reaching new heights.
During his time with the Stars, Dillon collected nine goals and 26 points in 149 games. He has primarily served as a third-pair defenseman since his transition to the Silicon Valley. Now, Dillon holds a new role going up against the most threatening scorers in the league alongside one of the best defensemen in the league in Erik Karlsson.
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With the two-time Norris Trophy winner on his right side; Dillon has steadily gained confidence and is playing the best hockey of his eight-year career.
Brenden Dillon’s Career Marks
Dillon has one goal and 15 assists, which puts him on pace to break his career single-season point total set last year (22 points). However, that’s not where Dillon’s game has improved the most, its his proficiency in defensive and neutral zone with some impressive metrics to back it.
Registering at 6-foot-4, 225-lb frame Dillon is force to be reckoned with on the ice, he leads all Sharks with 119 hits and a stellar +22 plus/minus. He’s locked his defensive game down by throwing heavy hits on rushing forwards and digging pucks out of corners to help exit the puck from the defensive zone.
Taking it one step further looking at Dillon’s defensive advanced statistics you can compare him to some the NHL’s best defensemen.
The 28-year-old holds a 58.7 Corsi For percentage at even strength. This means that the Sharks controlled the puck more often than not with Dillon on the ice during 5-on-5 play. When set side-by-side with defensemen who have played more than half of the games played this season, Dillon’s CF% ranks third behind only Dougie Hamilton (59.4%) and a familiar face in Erik Karlsson (59.5%).
Part of Dillon’s success has been his counterpart Erik Karlsson. EK65’s prestige, puck-handling and power-skating make him known for both his offensive and defensive expertise. Dillon has been able to ride Karlsson’s hot streak and be a trusty right-hand man, or left-hand man technically.
With Dillon working well with Karlsson as the second paring, the absence of Marc-Edouard Vlasic hasn’t hurt the San Jose Sharks as one might have thought.. Head coach Peter DeBoer and his coaching staff seem to be figuring out how to make do with the next man up mentality.
Keep an out for No. 4 to continue to elevate his game on the ice. His wavy flow and very tenacious style of play has turned heads; this season has been shaping into the best of his journeyman career.
While Dillon dives deeper into this years success, the San Jose Sharks seek to climb higher as they continue to push to the top of the Pacific Division standings.
All statistics provided in this article were provided by naturalstattrick.com unless stated otherwise.