When he was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012, Matthew Dumba was looked at as one of the most NHL-ready prospects to come out of that crop. The lockout didn’t help his chances of starting with the team, though, as he didn’t see any action up with them in 2013.
He was initially called up from his junior club, Red Deer, but never made it into a game with the Wild before he was sent back, in order to preserve all three years of his entry-level contract. Heading into the new season, he’s hoping that he can come back and stick with the Wild this time around.
Things are different this time. Dumba is a year older, nearing 19 years old. And there are opportunities to be had on the Minnesota blue line. They’ve let some guys go and will have competition really for all defensive spots outside of their top pairing of Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin.
Dumba has the look of a defenseman that could join a top pairing, but would be better served to start on the no. 2 unit with the Wild, which he obviously would do given the excellent state of Minnesota’s top two d-men. He has the tools to be an offensive weapon from the blue line.
He doesn’t bring tremendous size to the blue line, at an even 6′ and under 200 pounds, but he does play the physical game quite well. Even more impressive is his ability to move the puck and start the rush out of the defensive zone. He has a big shot from the point as well. His defensive play could use improvement, but that will come as he gains experience.
Dumba’s time with the Minnesota Wild could be now. They have room for him on the blue line. He showed some improvement, and gained valuable experience simply on how to be a professional in his brief time with the Wild last year. The odds are in his favor, and a strong training camp could make him a lock to join the Wild for the 2013-14 season.