Mathew Dumba opened up Minnesota 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. He wants to follow Jonas Brodin's footsteps. But is he honestly ready? I'll break down his strengths and weaknesses to declare if he's ready or not and what he needs to work on.
Strengths: Explosive dynamic defenseman. Very good skater. Explosive hitting. Plays physical enough to defend against bigger bodies. Has the ability to make the big open-ice hits. Offensive upside. Has a wicked shot from the point. Makes a good first past to set up good plays. Incredible poise and patience when standing with the puck on the offensive blue-line. Great energy. Competitiveness. Great leadership. Electrifying.
Weaknesses: Will need to add some more muscle to play a robust style at the NHL level: if he's going to bang with the big boys in the corners he's got to put on some weight and muscle. Undersized. His occasional leaving his feet defensive play is a little erratic at times. Risk taker who will cost his team some goals with his over aggressiveness. Needs to work on consistency.
So is Mathew Dumba Ready?
I say he isn't quite ready as he says he is. Yes he is a dynamic defenseman with explosive hits and can generate offense, but, the problems were his defensive game as he is a risk taker, and some of those risks sometimes don't pay out. 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. And he needs to learn to play consistently on his defensive game, I just feel he isn't quite there yet. I give him at least one more year, I just don't want him to ruin his development and really need to work on his decision making with the puck or his hitting. But he is a smart hockey player. But, that isn't something you fix over night.
Thanks for reading Wilderness.