Over the course of the next month, Konopkaesque will review each player who suited up for the Wild this season, with a few exceptions. 1) They had to play at least ten games during the season and/or playoffs (sorry, Brett Bulmer, Carson McMillan and John Curry) and 2) they had to finish the season as part of the organization, which ironically excludes the man for whom this blog is named, among others.
So, without further blathering, here’s today’s subject:
Matt Dumba, D, Age 19
Remaining contract (per capgeek): 2 years, $894,000, RFA in 2016.
What Did He Do?: Remember Matt Dumba? We drafted him a few years ago. Pretty high, I think. I can never remember and I flatly refuse to do research. I do know this. Dumba has the terrible mustache of a 19-year old. The smooth, quick skating stride of a 19-year old, and the somewhat erratic defensive play of a 19-year old. I just did some research, and in fact, Matt Dumba is 19-years old. Huh. Well alright then.
Dumba occupied the Matt Foy memorial seat in the press box for most of the early season, gaining spot duty before he was shipped back to Juniors for good, with a pit stop at the World Junior tournament, where he had just one assist in 7 games (he did, however, play through an illness) for what was ultimately a disappointing Canadian squad.
Dumba’s time with the Wild wasn’t really enough for an outsider to gauge how far he is from being considered a regular at the NHL level. As you can see above, he had just two points, and all of his minus-5 was accumulated in his last four games. This was all despite the team playing him in protected, easy minute situations. Clearly some seasoning was needed. Enough so that the Wild decided to just burn a year of his contract by sending him back to Juniors, where he was a big part of a Portland Winterhawks team that went 45-3 once he joined up. Yes, that is a real record, not the final of a non-conference SEC football game vs. Sam Houston St.
What to Expect if You’re Expecting: Dumba will be 20 in July, that means no more Juniors (who cares, he can’t prove much else at that level), but it also opens up the AHL as a possibility. Dumba is still a player who could use a little seasoning, and depending on what happens on the blue line this offseason as Fletch the younger goes into wheeler-dealer mode, there could be as many as eight defensemen above him on the depth chart when camp opens.
And you know what? That’s ok. The Wild have enough kids, and if Dumba can round his game out in Iowa, and not ruin himself, Doug Risebrough-style, at the NHL level, we’ll all be better of for it in the long run. Patience is the key with a player like Dumba.
Trade Prospects?: Slim. Any team that the Wild talk to would likely ask for Dumba as part of any potential blockbuster, but unless the Wild are looking to make a crazy splash in the trade market, Mr. Dumba, and his terrible facial hair, are staying.