Last week, Matt Dumba opened up Wild Development camp by saying he wants to make the NHL roster. It was a very bold statement for the 19 year old defenseman, who was the Wild's first round draft pick in the 2012 draft.
So entering the scrimmages on Thursday, Dumba was looking to not only make an impression on the Wild front office, but the fans as well. Dumba did just that, electrifying the ice at Xcel Energy Center for 3 days with his offensive and rather physical (especially on Saturday) play.
Without a doubt, he was the best player on the ice during development camp.
But the question remains, should Dumba get a spot with the Wild going into the 2013-14 season? The answer is crystal clear. No, he should not.
With all respect to Dumba and his abilities, but he is not ready to play with the Wild. And since he is only 19, he is not eligible to play in the AHL, so he will have to be sent back to Red Deer for the season.
The talent is there, but he still has much to work on in his game. He was rather sloppy defensively on Saturday, and allowed a few odd man rushes. If that is an actual NHL game, he would be riding the bench after allowing said rushes. You simply have to be more responsible defensively to play for the big club. His offensive game is very sharp, but he needs some polishing still. Expect that to come this season at Red Deer.
It is a long shot for Dumba to make this team anyway. After the addition of Jonathon Blum, the Wild now have eight defenseman on the roster. Dumba would be the ninth. Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Clayton Stoner, and Keith Ballard all appear to be locks for the six defenseman spots with Nate Prosser and Blum coming in as the healthy scratches.
It has been a hot topic on the Wilderness lately, as to whether or not Dumba will make the team. But the discussion should end here. He will not. It is just simply too risky to keep him with the team. He should/will be sent back to Red Deer to continue his development. We don't want to have another first round pick turn out to be a bust, do we?
I sincerely hope you answer that question with no.