Junior team: Chicago (USHL)
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 201 pounds
2014-15 stats: 56 games, four goals, 21 assists, 25 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 58 (North America)
Lowdown: It’s strange to think a defenseman wouldn’t put much thought into defending, but that was the case with Gilbert entering this year. Before jumping to the United States Hockey League, he’d always been big enough and fast enough to catch up to forwards and overcome a mistake. The talent at his new level showed him he had to be better, and he was.
Gilbert climbed the Central Scouting charts with an impressive season, moving up 14 spots after a midterm ranking of No. 72. He was plus-2 on a team with a goal differential of minus-10. He led Chicago in points from the blue line while finishing second among defenders with 102 shots. He’s not afraid of physicality, totaling three fights to tie for most on the Steel, according to HockeyFights.com
He still has room to grow in all facets, and he’ll get the chance at Notre Dame.
They said it: “Dennis is a rangy defenseman and great skater who really started to blossom the last couple of years. Dennis has great potential and good size. He likes to jump into the play but can also become a great defender with his skating ability and size." – Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame coach.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.