"With the 7th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild selects defenseman Matthew Dumba."
Not my first choice, but I am very happy to see Dumba as a Wild prospect. There is just so much to like about him that it is easy to see why you would like him. As the draft slowly unwinds, it becomes clearer and clearer that its about upside more than safety.
So who is this guy? Lets take a look
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"|
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
NHL Top Prospect Watch - Matt Dumba (via westernhockeyleague)
So What Do the Wild Have In Dumba?
Possibly one of the best hitter in the draft, possibly one of the best shooter in the draft, possibly one of the best skater in the draft, one of the best powerplay quarterbacks in the draft.
Going into the draft, what were the Wild missing? We need a defenseman, we need physicality, we need a PP quaterback, we needed a guy who could score goals.
Dumba meets every single one of our needs. Dumba was always talked about as having one of the top upsides in the draft, as much impact potential as Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk.
The problems were his defensive game as he is a risk taker, and some of those risks sometimes don't pay out.
But imagine a Brodin-Dumba duo. A mobile unit with one guy who is a wizard in the offensive zone and one guy who is a wizard in the defensive zone. Seems like a match made in heaven. Positives and negatives attract.
He wasn't my first choice, but I don't see why I didn't have him as such. He is top in almost every single category in this draft class besides defensive game, but even that, he is arguably decent.
How long till he gets to Minnesota?
It is hard to say. Dumba is dominate in the WHL, is already NHL ready in terms of athleticism, and has tons of offense to offer. But his flaws in learning when to make a big hit or just to make a simple play, is something he needs to slowly develop. That isn't something you fix over night.
A safe range would be 2-4 years, one more year in the WHL, then at least one year in the AHL. Maybe a bit longer if he struggles abit.
Will he be able to challenge for a spot this season? Sure, there are open spots but again, we don't want to ruin his development and really need to work on his decision making with the puck or his hitting.
The more and more I'm writing this, the more I love the pick.