The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #8 Draft Prospect - Mathew Dumba
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2011 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Defense / Red Deer Rebels
Jul 25 1994
|2011/12 - Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||CHL Top Prospects Game
|U18 WJC Bronze Medal|
|U18 WJC Best Defenseman|
|U18 WJC Most Assists|
|U18 WJC Most Points|
|U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team|
||U17 WHC Bronze Medal|
|U17 WHC Most Points|
|WHL Rookie of the Year "Jim Piggott Trophy"|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):
Dumba is a great name for his style, sort of like how Clutterbuck is perfect Clutterbuck.
Summarized Scouting Report
An explosive dynamic defenseman with game-breaking ability ... incredible raw talent ... he’s a very good skater with a lot of explosiveness ... great on his edges which allows him to have top-end agility on the ice ... one of the draft's best skaters ... able to generate a good top speed ... strong for being just average size and likes to play it physical ... plays physical enough to defend against bigger bodies ... have the ability to make the big open-ice hits ... equally effective throwing hits in open ice and along the boards ... his athleticism is right at the top ... has a hard point shot, considered one of the best shooters in the draft ... has a quick and accurate release on his wrist shot ... appears to choose the right times to take his shot ... makes some nice tape-to-tape passes ... isn't afraid to lead or join the rush ... does a great job of buying time ... has the skills to be a power play quarterback and top two defenseman ... adept at finding shooting and passing lanes ... pinches into the zone and acts as a fourth forward at times ... has incredible poise and patience when standing with the puck on the offensvie blueline ... plays with energy ... possesses an elite level of competitiveness ... has the ability to put fans in the rink with his electrifying style of play and infectious personality ... also has some leadership qualities
Skating technique needs a little adjustment ... ability to handle the rigor of his style of play at the next level could be a concern ... will need to add some muscle to play a robust style at the NHL level ... lack of size will cause him some problems down low and in front of the net ... he will occasionally leave his feet ... defensive play is a little erratic at times ... a risk taker who will cost his team some goals with his over aggressiveness ... needs to work on consistency issues
High Risk/high reward - Game breaking offensive defenseman or bust
NHL Top Prospect Watch - Matt Dumba (via westernhockeyleague)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
The Wild is missing a physical defenseman and an offensive defenseman. Dumba is both.
A high risk/high reward type of player.
One of the best skaters in the draft, one of the best hitters in the draft, and one of the best shooters in the draft. All rolled into one package called Dumba.
He is also electrifying, a game-breaker and recently served as captain to the U-18 Team Canada team.
So what is the problem?
Defense. Being a Wild fan for quite some time, I've always preferred prospects with good defensive skills and high hockey sense. With Dumba, he is a wizard in the offensive zone but because of his high energetic hitting game, he will often make mistakes defensively.
His style works great at the junior level, but when the players are faster, stronger, and smarter in the NHL stage, will going for the hit rather than making the simple play be more hurtful than beneficial?
Personally, I think he's full of talent, however I do not feel comfortable with his style of play. I feel it is just too risky and rather have a smart and calm defenseman like Jacob Trouba and Griffin Reinhart over Dumba. But that is just me.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report