Toronto Marlies Sign Dakota Krebs To ATO

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The Toronto Marlies have added defenseman Dakota Krebs of the University of Calgary on an amateur tryout.

Who is Dakota Krebs?

Dakota Krebs’ last name might sound familiar to some. Dakota is the older brother of star Golden Knights prospect Peyton Krebs and projected 2021 NHL Draft pick Dru Krebs.

The oldest Krebs doesn’t play much like his brothers, though, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Krebs played five seasons in the WHL, wrapping up his overage year with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL wearing the “A”.

Dakota Krebs was traded to Calgary in a blockbuster that brought current NHLer Jake Bean to Tri-City. The Krebs family is from the area. The brothers grew up in Okotoks, which is 40 minutes away from Calgary.

Last summer, Krebs committed to the University of Calgary, looking to help their team improve on their 5th straight conference semi-finals loss.

Instead, the University of Calgary will not play this season due to the pandemic. Unlike some college/university players, Krebs isn’t eligible to play in a league that’s still playing, like the AJHL. Instead, he’ll join the Toronto Marlies hoping to make his professional debut.

Dakota Krebs Scouting Report

Dakota Krebs comes off to me as such an interesting prospect. Looking at just his stats, you don’t really expect much. Krebs scored just 17 points in his overage season as a player bigger and older than most of his opponents.

However, offense isn’t really this Krebs’ game. Instead, Krebs is more of a defense-first, rough defenseman.

He plays a pretty safe game. He’s very good at outmuscling and boxing out his opponents in his own end. Krebs doesn’t throw an absurd amount of hits, but he’s not afraid to take advantage of his size and experience by pushing around his target.

He takes some stupid penalties, though. Quite a few of his penalties are retaliatory due to something that happened to his teammate, which is respectable. However, a lot of them are simply due to him being too aggressive. Maybe that’s something that doesn’t carry over into the pros, as the stronger players won’t fall down as easily. However, for a guy who plays such a safe defensive game, his team would rather have him on the PK than in the box.

Krebs took a bit of an enforcer role on the Hitmen in his last couple of seasons, which was nice to see. I’m pretty sure he’s had a bit of a losing record on his recent fights, but it shows you some of the heart he has, quite a few of his fights come at the defense of his teammates.

However, the most intriguing part of Dakota Krebs’ game by far is his offense.

Krebs is a great playmaker. His passes are generally smart and crisp. As a result, I’m kind of surprised that the puck isn’t with him more often. He’s fairly good at protecting the puck and making the right decision with it. I would like to see his poise with the puck improve, but other than that I think he has the potential to do more on the puck-moving side than we’ve seen him do in the WHL.

If he’s going to succeed in the pros, Dakota Krebs needs to improve his offensive game. His shot just isn’t really an offensive threat. For such a big player, he just doesn’t put much power on it. They struggle to have the speed and accuracy to actually create a tip or rebound chance for one of his teammates. I would love to see him develop his shot to the point where A. He consistently has a decent chance of scoring or B. He is able to consistently set up a teammate from the point.

A lot of his shots come from tight into the corner of the blue line. While I know it’s not really his style of play, I’d like to see him skate in further sometimes, he has seen success shooting from a little closer.

I’d also like to see a little more tenacity from Krebs. When he is exposed defensively, it generally comes when it doesn’t look like he’s giving his all to the play or when he looks lost inside the play.

Even though he played against much younger competition, Krebs still has more to show, in my opinion. The expectation with a lot of overage CHLers or USports players is that they’re pretty close to their peak and are expected to contribute immediately at the AHL level. While I don’t think Krebs will have much trouble adapting to the pros, I still think he should be treated as a raw prospect.

What Does This Move Mean?

To be honest, this move probably doesn’t mean a whole lot for the Toronto Marlies. The team also recalled prospect Noel Hoefenmayer from his loan to the Wichita Thunder.

Even with the injury to Rasmus Sandin, the team still has six locks for the roster. They have Calle Rosen, Teemu Kivihalme, and Kristians Rubins on the left side, as well as Timothy Liljegren, Mac Hollowell, and Joseph Duszak on the right side.

What this move does give them is some extra flexibility. Their only extra defensemen were Sergei Sapego and rookie Riley McCourt, both left-handed defensemen. Hoefenmayer and Krebs are both right-handed, giving the team two reserve defensemen of each handedness.

There is another big piece of this move as well. Krebs is likely in Calgary right now, and that’s exactly where the Marlies are set to play their next four(!) games (the Marlies won’t play at home this month, but they will because the Ontario government approved them last week).

This gives us two possibilities.

  1. Dakota Krebs is a temporary local addition who’ll get the opportunity to play and practice with a professional team but will be released when their road trip to Calgary ends.
  2. Dakota Krebs will be given the opportunity to play with the Marlies for even longer, as he doesn’t have anywhere else to play this season.

They’re both equally as likely, in my opinion. The Marlies have already made what’s expected to be a temporary local addition in goaltender Jeremy Link, a local goalie at the University of Winnipeg who is serving as the Marlies’ 3rd string goaltender during their time in Manitoba. However, they’re also carrying five other guys on ATOs, who are only expected to leave when the OHL starts play.

It all remains to be seen, but if they do keep him for the season, it’ll be interesting to see how they utilize Dakota Krebs.

What’s Next?

In a season full of uncertainty, it’s hard to tell.

The Toronto Marlies’ schedule after February has not been announced yet, but it likely will finally include stops at home. The team is still waiting on a couple of guys to quarantine, including new addition Angus Redmond, who some may remember from his time with the Newfoundland Growlers.

The Marlies look good, and Dakota Krebs will likely join the team in time for their Calgary road trip, starting with the first of four straight games against the Stockton (temporarily Calgary) Heat on February 21st.

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Spencer White is an Editor of Hockey at Overtime Heroics. He writes about hockey, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Newfoundland Growlers, and the Toronto Six. You can find him on Twitter at @FreeNylander, @MagicianMarner, and @LeafsMoves.