With just 70 days until the new-look Minnesota Wild will face off with the Colorado Avalanche, let’s take another look back at how the Wild fared in the 2012 NHL Draft. Today, we will look at defenseman Mathew Dumba, Minnesota’s first pick.
Name: Mathew Dumba
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Drafted: 1st Round, 7th Overall
Spending his last three seasons with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, Mathew Dumba has quickly established himself as a standout player. Although known for his crushing open-ice hits, he has proved himself to be a legitimate two-way player, using wrist strength to compile 57 points (20-37-57) in 69 games for the Rebels last season.
In addition to his extremely physical game and playmaking ability, Dumba is a very good skater who has the ability to go from zero to top speed incredibly quickly. He is also a good puck handler, though one criticism some have is that he hangs onto the puck too long trying to do too much in the offensive zone and occasionally turns the puck over.
While he has skills likened by many to that of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, Dumba also possesses strong leadership qualities. This year, he was selected to captain Team Canada at the Under 18 World Junior Championships, and lead the team to a bronze medal. He was named the tournament’s top defenseman in the process.
Dumba’s character and personality off the ice should also not go unmentioned. Those who have been around him talk very positively about his enthusiasm for the game, as well as his kindness and infectious smile.
Overall, Dumba looks to be a very solid pick for Minnesota. The team needs to continue to build a young, talented defense corps, and this will help it continue to do so. If the six-foot, 185-pound draft pick can continue to improve his game and fill out, he could potentially play a very serious role in the NHL someday.
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